I have seen them scuttle, faces long as a fish,
drizzling dislike from their grey-paper-bag bodies,
maggoting joy and thought, styptic to flesh,
Lenten umbrellas, black-lint-hearted ladies:
but you, my pear, my birthday, my bright penny,
my window-box, my bird-of-paradise cloak,
you my aurora, you my bath of honey,
have driven them back into the wickerwork.

I have heard them talking, sour tin-whistle voices
like fingernails on slates, intending ill,
achieving vanity and their own disgraces;
their poison-spittle, though, slug-silvering all:
but you my wing, my guinea Roman Candle, 
my double-century, my Book of Kells, 
my Nobel Prize, my mink, my triple rondel,
have rung them silent with your platinum bells.

But, my blue-ribbon, my four-minute-mile, 
my cherry-gold pagoda, my concerto,
my smuggled brandy-wine, my swallow-tail,
my Kohinoor, my phoenix, my del Sarto,
my Stradivarius, my New Atlantis,
how shall I wholly shut the door on them
who flood me like a Sorcerer's Apprentice,
and bar the bloom from the aspiring stem?