We present this work in honor of the poet’s 325th birthday.
Why, froward goddess, try and try again
To block my every step with brambles and rocks?
Wouldst cow me by your stare of high disdain
Or make me drag you toward me by your locks?
Such practices might well be the undoing
Of easily panicked souls, but be advised:
If the whole world fell suddenly into ruin
I’d watch it, curious yet unexercised.
To confrontations of this kid I feel
Quite equal now. I know you are still trying
To wear me down, eventually. Not so:
For I am like to steel which, in defying
The constant injuries of hammer and wheel,
Grows finer and more luminous with each blow.