W. H. Auden

A Thanksgiving 

    When pre-pubescent I felt
that moorlands and woodlands were sacred:
    people seemed rather profane.

    Thus, when I started to verse,
I presently sat at the feet of
    Hardy and Thomas and Frost.

    Falling in love altered that,
now Someone, at least, was important:
    Yeats was a help, so was Graves.

    Then, without warning, the whole
Economy suddenly crumbled:
    there, to instruct me, was Brecht.

    Finally, hair-raising things
that Hitler and Stalin were doing
    forced me to think about God.

    Why was I sure they were wrong?
Wild Kierkegaard, Williams and Lewis
    guided me back to belief.

    Now, as I mellow in years
and home in a bountiful landscape,
    Nature allures me again.

    Who are the tutors I need?
Well, Horace, adroitest of makers,
    beeking in Tivoli,  and

    Goethe, devoted to stones,
who guessed that — he never could prove it —
    Newton led science astray.

    Fondly I ponder You all:
without You I couldn’t have managed
    even my weakest of lines.

spoken = Alan Reinhardt