To a Child By Christopher Morley

The greatest poem ever known

Is one all poets have outgrown

The poetry, innate, untold,

Of being only four years old.

Still young enough to be a part

Of Nature’s great impulsive heart,

Born comrade of bird, beast, and tree

And unselfconscious as the bee

And yet with lovely reason skilled

Each day new paradise to build;

Elate explorer of each sense,

Without dismay, without pretense!

In your unstained transparent eyes

There is no conscience, no surprise:

Life’s queer conundrums you accept,

Your strange divinity still kept.

Being, that now absorbs you, all

Harmonious, unit, integral,

Will shred into perplexing bits,

Oh, contradictions of the wits!

And Life, that sets all things in rhyme,

may make you poet, too, in time

But there were days, O tender elf,

When you were Poetry itself!