My Cart 


William Henry Davies


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


This poem is in the public domain.

William Henry Davies (1871-1940) was a Welsh poet who started out as a rounder but ended up a respected poet. Raised by grandparents after his father died and his mother remarried, William was inclined toward a life of adventure; he traveled by boat to North America repeatedly before losing a leg in attempting to jump a train. He eventually returned to England, wrote a book about his wandering years, paid and starved his way into becoming a published poet and, eventually, gained equal standing with such contemporaries as Yeats and Ezra Pound.




Post New Comment:
Carol Orvis:
As a girl living in Yorkshire, England, our Mum sent my sister and myself to take Elocution lessons. Mum didn't want us to grow up with broad Yorkshire accents! This poem, "Leisure", was the first poem we learned on how to say the words correctly in the King's English. "a's are pronounced long as in "father", not as in "cat". Thanks!
Posted 02/23/2019 10:05 AM
We must have time to stand and stare.
Posted 08/28/2014 01:48 PM
I love that line too! I never read that poem before, but it's a delight!
Posted 08/28/2014 05:30 AM
Enrich that smile her eyes began - what a beautiful line. This has been a favourite of mine for years.
Posted 08/28/2014 01:00 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.