Louis MacNeice


Though loves languish and sour 
Fruit puts the teeth on edge, 
Though the ragged nests are empty of song  
In the barbed and blistered hedge,

Though old men's lives and children's bricks  
Spell out a Machiavellian creed, 
Though the evil Past is ever present 
And the happy Present is past indeed,

Though the stone grows and grows  
That we roll up the hill 
And the hill grows and grows 
And gravity conquers still,

Though Nature's laws exploit  
And defeat anarchic men, 
Though every sandcastle concept  
Being ad hoc must crumble again,

And though today is arid, 
We know - and knowing bless -  
That rooted in futurity 
There is a plant of tenderness.