Rest not at evening, nor the dawn of day,
And, in the daunting noon, be stalwart still;
Such works must surely be your father's will,
As, in the sweat of worry, you obey.
Dig ditches deep, rope off each tempting tree,
Lest some impious foot near there should tread:
For men are never safe till they are dead,
And risking freedom is insanity.
Keep eyes fast-fixed upon the onerous task;
Blue is the sky stretched glorious above,
It might inspire some lawless thought of love,
It might seduce you to remove your mask.
Stand at your numbered sections, stakes in hand.
Beat in each stake, though it pierce through some heart!
Those not confined by diagrams must smart,
Till, beaten down by pain, they understand.
Freedom's too dangerous for careful men!
Ignore bright birds that fly across your wall:
For, if a man be lifted, he might fall!
Better to crawl amongst the dust motes then.
Down in the dust, flail at the arid earth
For that fulfilment earth can never give.
But never step outside the fence. Don't live.
That might show up legality's true worth.
So, build constrictive shelters ceaselessly,
Build them of wood or stubble, hay or straw.
And, while Love's rushing winds around you roar,
You'll huddle with your father, Pharisee.