No poet wishes life to be
A circle full of symmetry,
He does not wish the world all one
Eternity of flower and sun —
For who can feel the mountain’s length
Fill up his pulse with acid strength
Unless sometime his groping hand
Held panic of the slipping sand?
Without a winter what is spring?
Without the serpent what is wing ?
Without some hour of fear and fire
How can the cool of God inspire?
Perfection is a thin reward
For those who sit at Homer’s board,
No absolute can tempt the soul
Of him who eats life strong and whole;
Within the barren of all-good
No beauty can be understood,
Without the heart’s inconstancy
And whirl, a poet cannot be.