Their Lonely Betters, by W.H. Auden

Their Lonely Betters

As I listened from a beach-chair in the shade

To all the noises that my garden made,

It seemed to me only proper the words

Should be withheld from vegetables and birds.

A robin with no Christian name ran through

The Robin-Anthem which was all it knew,

And rustling flowers for some third party waited

To say which pairs, if any, should get mated.

Not one of them was capable of lying,

There was not one which knew that it was dying

Or could have with a rhythm or a rhyme

Assumed responsibility for time.

Let them leave language to their lonely betters

Who count some days and long for certain letters;

We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep,

Words are for those with promises to keep.

– W H Auden

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