I build my poems with little strokes of ink
Drawn shining down white paper, line and line,
And there is nothing here which men call fine,
Nothing but hieroglyphs to make them think.
I have no broad and blowing plain to link
And loop with aqueducts, no golden mine
To crest my pillars, no bright twisted vine
Which I can train about a fountain’s brink.
Those others laced their poems from sea to sea
And floated navies over fields of grain;
They fretted their full fancies in strong stone
And struck them on the sky. And yet I gain,
For bombs and bullets cannot menace me,
Who have no substance to be overthrown.
Cathedrals crash to rubbish, but my towers,
Carved in the whirling and enduring brain,
Fade, and persist, and rise again, like flowers.