WHEN you destroy a blade of grass
You poison England at her roots:
Remember no mans
foot can pass
Where evermore no green life shoots.
You force the birds to wing too high
Where your unnatural vapours creep:
Surely the living
rocks shall die
When birds no rightful distance keep.
You have brought down the firmament
And yet no heaven is more near;
You shape huge deeds
And half-made men believe and fear.
Your worship is your furnaces,
Which, like old idols, lost obscenes,
Have molten bowels; your
Machines for making more machines.
O, you are busied in the night,
Preparing destinies of rust;
Iron misused must turn to blight
dwindle to a tetterd crust.
The grass, forerunner of life, has gone,
But plants that spring in ruins and shards
your dream is done:
I have seen hemlock in your yards.
The generations of the worm
Know not your loads piled on their soil;
Their knotted ganglions
shall wax firm
Till your strong flagstones heave and toil.
When the old hollowd earth is crackd,
And when, to grasp more power and feasts,
are emptied, wasted, lackd,
The middens of your burning beasts
Shall be raked over till they yield
Last priceless slags for fashionings high,
Ploughs to wake
grass in every field,
Chisels mens hands to magnify.
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