For pleasaunce nor to use
Heaven’s champaign when I muse.
One grass-blade in its veins
Wisdom’s whole flood contains;
Thereon my foundering mind
Odyssean fate can find.
O little blade, now vaunt
Thee, and be arrogant!
Tell the proud sun that he
Sweated in shaping thee;
Night, that she did unvest
Her mooned and argent breast
To suckle thee. Heaven fain
Yearned over thee in rain,
And with wide parent wing
Shadowed thee, nested thing,
Fed thee, and slaved for thy
Impotent tyranny.
Nature’s broad thews bent
Meek for thy content.
Mastering littleness
Which the wise heavens confess,
The frailty which doth draw
Magnipotence to its law–
These were, O happy one, these
Thy laughing puissances!
Be confident of thought,
Seeing that thou art naught;
And be thy pride thou’rt all
Delectably safe and small.
Epitomized in thee
Was the mystery
Which shakes the spheres conjoint–
God focussed to a point.
All thy fine mouths shout
Scorn upon dull-eyed doubt.
Impenetrable fool
Is he thou canst not school
To the humility
By which the angels see!
Unfathomably framed
Sister, I am not shamed
Before the cherubin
To vaunt my flesh thy kin.
My one hand thine, and one
Imprisoned in God’s own,
I am as God; alas,
And such a god of grass!
A little root clay-caught,
A wind, a flame, a thought,
Inestimably naught!

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