On Tap


What is achieved without much effort fails,

Although it satisfy immediate needs,

To benefit for long man’s real desire.

We turn our tap for water; no more pails

Come clanking up the well-shaft; no more weeds

To set aside spring pool in the mire.

No more the smell of smoking wick assails

Our nostrils, but the insulated leads,

At the touch of switch, provide both light and fire:

And in our homes the modern minstrel wails.

But tap can empty just as well as fill:

And when we turn a tap and press a switch

It seems to me some virtue, that made rich

Our ancestors, doth to our sorrow spill.


Weekly Times     9.11.62