To a —hild
THE greatest poem ever known Is one all poets have outgrown: The poetry, innate, untold, Of being only four years old. Still young enough to be a part Of Nature's great impulsive heart, Born comrade of bird, beast, and tree And unselfconscious as the bee-- And yet with lovely reason skilled Each day new paradise to build; Elate explorer of each sense, Without dismay, without pretense! In your unstained transparent eyes There is no conscience, no surprise: Life's queer conundrums you accept, Your strange divinity still kept. Being, that now absorbs you, all Harmonious, unit, integral, Will shred into perplexing bits,-- Oh, contradictions of the wits! And Life, that sets all things in rhyme, may make you poet, too, in time-- But there were days, O tender elf, When you were Poetry itself!
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