No Master

Indeed this is the sweet life! my hand 
Is under no proud man's command; 
There is no voice to break my rest 
Before a bird has left its nest; 
There is no man to change my mood, 
When I go nutting in the wood; 
No man to pluck my sleeve and say -- 
I want thy labour for this day; 
No man to keep me out of sight, 
When that dear Sun is shining bright. 
None but my friends shall have command 
Upon my time, my heart and hand; 
I'll rise from sleep to help a friend, 
But let no stranger orders send, 
Or hear my curses fast and thick, 
Which in his purse-proud throat would stick 
Like burrs. If I cannot be free 
To do such work as pleases me, 
Near woodland pools and under trees, 
You'll get no work at all, for I 
Would rather live this life and die 
A beggar or a thief, than be 
A working slave with no days free.

-- William Henry Davies

Tags: freedom, labor, poem, poetry, work

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