The Iceberg and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

BAT, BAT, COME UNDER MY HAT

(A Modernity)


 

TWELVE good friends
Passed under her hat,
And devil a one of them
Knew where he was at.

Had they but known,

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Then had they known all things,—
The littleness of great things,
The unmeasured immensity of small things.
They had known the Where and the Why,
The When and the Wherefore,
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And how the Eternal
Conceived the Eternal, and therefore
Beginning began the Beginning;
They had apprehended
The ultimate virtue of sinning;
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They had caught the whisper
That Vega vibrates to Arcturus,
Piercing the walls
Of heavy flesh that immure us.

But if they had known,

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Then had there been no mystery;
And Life had been poorer,
And laughter unsurer,
And the shadow of death securer,
By lack of this strange history.
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