I banish all Who fret and stall To finish out my work: Pitched to that extreme of thought Or dark, and shambling room to room As from spirit to spirit And always preparing for that Never-arriving guest, I have labored over-long Or too-thick with theme and means Have overwrought my song. Out of night like a distorted dream Or storm more mysterious A penitent ghost that cannot crest The bound of rotted day appears; Poets, learn to live as clay All rich substance to underpin Whatever a great man might make Tinkering with his fate In momentary play, Or more solemnly erect, Out of an undistracted hate. All our lot have spurned and sung Brevity of man, necessity of guns, Unable as any mirror To sing ourselves aright Caught in enlarging night We turned from face to face As if every face would save us; We who had arrogance enough Of thought to have thought That careless hands had made us. So that a few good words might not perish Or empty imagining sink unmanned In unalterable loss Collect like solemn children round The myriad confusion of the foam And write it out again: Live, and live again, as old men say Anxious for eternities That make their own wisdom seem But momentary toys that gleam And are beaten back to mud. I am not that holy sage Remembers the misery of knowing all Or turning to a wall completes What body and its pleasure Were forbidden to decide--- Under burdened moon That sinks in July to rise on fire Out of the glittering wheat Knows man and his defeats All the sudden infirmities Blind violence took for sureties And looks on them and laughs. From the womb man falls Or from the widowed breast Dispatched to a sultry grave That gives no rest.