Edna St. Vincent Millay





Underground System

Set the foot down with distrust upon the crust of the  world—it 
	is thin. 
Moles are at work beneath us; they have tunneled the sub-soil 
With separate chambers; which at an appointed knock 
Could be as one, could intersect and interlock. We walk on the 
	skin 
Of life. No toil 
Of rake or hoe, no lime, no phosphate, no rotation of crops, no
	irrigation of the land, 
Will coax the limp and flattened grain to stand 
On that bad day, or feed to strength the nibbled root's of our 
	nation. 

Ease has demoralized us, nearly so, we know 
Nothing of the rigours of winter: the house has a roof against –
	the car a top against – the snow.
All will be well, we say, it is a bit, like the rising of the sun, 
For our country to prosper; who can prevail against us? No one. 

The house has a roof; but the boards of its floor are rotting, and 
	hall upon hall 
The moles have built their palace beneath us, we have not far to 
	fall.