"As Tiny Sea-Birds"
As tiny sea-birds running from the sound
The tide full-throated shouts before its break
Seek sanctuary lest the wave should take
Them unawares and pull them to be drowned:
So men, when nations break, seek higher ground
In tried and ancient ways; of customs make
Life jackets lest they flounder in the wake
And wash of history's unending round.
What foolishness is this? No bird would dive
For shelter in the wave; no bird so blind
But sees the water's beckoning for cheat.
Yet, reason notwithstanding, men still thrive
On dreams of old salvation, and so bind,
By self-made chains, themselves to self-defeat.