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 and bee
And unselfconscious as the tree –
And yet with lovely reason skilled
Each day new paradise to build;
Elate explorer of each sense,
Without dismay, without pretense!
In your unstrained 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.