You Who Fear Change

You who fear change are like these sheep that turn
Back from cold mountain creeks, and drink
Only in small, familiar pools, or suck
Green milk of these marshy ponds that lie
Round and unmoving in a valley’s palm.
O slow and complacent muzzles, does it mean
Nothing to you that dust and drouth
Shrivel the little pools, and dung
Stains the warm stagnant water where the steers
Follow your little pathways to this pond?
Time fouls still water and slime lies
Mucous and soft above all ponds.
The lake by living springs unfed
Shrinks to a caking slough.
Blind is that shepherd who would lead his sheep
Back to these steer-trampled waters!