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Barter

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I have always loved the poem "Barter" by Sara Teasdale. It seems to imply a vertical demand curve for loveliness (a mistake I think, both conceptually and with respect to happiness), but I like to think it is more a statement about regret than on how to plan your life at the high end of the loveliness demand curve. The last line refutes my interpretation, but that’s what I take from the poem. Here [2] it is

Barter

By   Sara  Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
      All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
      Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
      Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
      Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
      Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
      Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

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