At the near approach of a star-huge tides
Agitated the molten surface of the earth.
The tides grew higher as it passed. It tore from the earth
I he top of one great wave: the moon was torn
Out of the Pacific'basin: the cold white stone that lights
us at night
Left that great wound in the earth, the Pacific Ocean
With all its islands and navies. I can stand on the cliff here
And hear the half-molten basalt and granite tearing apai
and see that huge bird
Leaping up to her star. But the star passed,
The moon remained, circling her ancient home,
Dragging the sea-tides after her, haggard with loneliness.
The mathematicians and physics men
Have their mythology; they work alongside the truth,
Never touching it; their equations are false
But the things work. Or, when gross error appears,
They invent new ones; they drop the theory of waves
In universal ether and imagine curved space.
Nevertheless their equations bombed Hiroshima.
The terrible things worked.
The poet also
Has his mythology. He tells you the moon arose
Out of the Pacific basin. He tells you that Troy was burnt for
Beautiful woman, whose face launched a thousand ships.
It is unlikely: it might be true: but church and state
Depend on more peculiarly impossible myths:
That all men are born free and equal: consider that!
And that a wandering Hebrew poet named Jesus
Is the God of the universe. Consider that!