Serenade

ON and on and on
The forthright catadoup
Shouts at the stone-deaf stone;
Over and over again,
Singly or as a group,
Weak diplomatic men
With a small defiant light
Salute the threatening night.
With or without a mind,
Chafant or outwardly calm,
Each thing has an axe to grind
And exclaims its matter of fact;
The careful child with charm
Or a sudden opprobrious act,
The tiger, the griping fern,
Extort the world’s concern.
All, all have rights to declare,
Not one is man enough
To be simply publicly there
With no private emphasis;
So my embodied love,
That like most feeling is
Half humbug and half true,
Asks neighborhood from you.
W. H. AUDEN