There are those times in our lives when the crushing throngs around us become too much to deal with, and we seek the calm of solitude or the society of a select few. One need not be a misanthrope to desire the quiet and still, the company of “old dogs and watermelon wine,’ or the bliss of nature in its nurturing rather than destructive state. Consider, if you will, the following couple of poems that speak of such a lovely loneliness.

There is Pleasure in The Pathless Woods

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
‘There is society, where none intrudes, 
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
—Lord Byron

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sails shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide.
‘Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas agains, to the vagrant Gypsies life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wing’s like a whittled knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
‘And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
—John Masefield

Yet there is another side to aloneness, the dark side.

Acquainted With the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
‘I have been one acquainted with the night.
—Robert Frost

2 thoughts on “Alone

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