What husks of last year's winter close you in,
To-morrow's world–what dead, what wrinkled skin
Of ancient parchments, laws, beliefs! what dried,
Worn, tattered layers keep the life inside,
Where slender as a sword, and tender green
It trembles, pushes, patient and unseen:
Vibrating atom, fronded silken thread,
Some day to shake, to sunder back the dead
Two halves of hemispheres–to pierce the crust
Of ages' rubbish, crowns and cults and dust!
See, iron arms, that clutter all the wide
Plateau of liberty–see, fortified
Dull spikey towns–you cannot hold your own
Against one seed a fecund earth has grown!
Alarmed you stand, alert to meet your foe,
Ready to battle blow for thundering blow;
Nor do you see this sprout of common wheat,
The blade, between your firm implanted feet.