I keep walking around myself, mouth open with amazement:
For by all the ethical rules of life, I ought to be solemn and sad,
But, look you, I am bursting with joy.
I scold myself:
I say: Boy, your work has gone to pot:
You have scarcely enough money to last out the week:
And think of your responsibilities!
Whereupon, my heart bubbles over,
I puff on my pipe, and think how solemnly the world goes by my window,
And how childish people are, wrinkling their foreheads over groceries and rent.
For here jets life fresh and stinging in the vivid air:
The winds laugh to the jovial Earth:
The day is keen with Autumn’s fine flavor of having done the year’s work:
Earth, in her festival, calls her children to the crimson revels.
The trees are a drunken riot: the sunshine is dazzling…
Yes, I ought, I suppose, to be saddened and tragic:
But Joy drops from me like ripe apples.
–James Oppenheim, 1882