At the devil’s booth are all things sold. Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold.

James Russell Lowell


2 comments about this quote

  • Michael Mensah

    Want to understand it’s import.
    Why the quote and for who?

  • dave

    AUTHOR: James Russell Lowell (1819–91)
    QUOTATION: Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
    The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
    The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
    We bargain for the graves we lie in;
    At the Devil’s booth are all things sold,
    Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
    For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
    Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking:
    ’T is heaven alone that is given away,
    ’T is only God may be had for the asking;
    No price is set on the lavish summer;
    June may be had by the poorest comer.
    And what is so rare as a day in June?
    Then, if ever, come perfect days;
    Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
    And over it softly her warm ear lays:
    Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten.
    ATTRIBUTION: JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, “The Vision of Sir Launfal,” prelude to part 1, lines 21–38, The Vision of Sir Launfal and Other Poems, p. 4–5 (1887).
    SUBJECTS: Worth


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