TO A CHILD
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 pretence!
In your unstained transparent eyes
There is no conscience, no surprise:
Life’s queer conundrums you accept,
Your strange Divinity still kept . . .
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!