Advice to a City

O city, cage your poets! Hem them in
And roof them over from the April sky —
Clatter them round with babble, ceaseless din,
And drown their voices with your thunder cry.

Forbid their free feet on the windy hills,
And harness them to daily ruts of stone —
(In florist's windows lock the daffodils)
And never, never let them be alone!

For they are curst, said poets, curst and lewd,
And freedom gives their tongues uncanny wit,
And granted silence, thought and solitude
They ( absit omen! ) might make Song of it.

So cage them in, and stand about them thick,
And keep them busy with their daily bread;
And should their eyes seem strange, ah, then be quick
To interrupt them ere the word be said....

For, if their hearts burn with sufficient rage,
With wasted sunsets and frustrated youth,
Some day they'll cry, on some disturbing page,
The savage, sweet, unpalatable truth!
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