I saw the fault lines in our common ground,
But wavered, loath to estimate the force
And timing of the tremors they foretold:
Why test this fragile paradise we’d found,
Perhaps provoking nature’s wildest course—
Or dig for rifts when random knolls gleam gold?
I never yet have walked a tract of earth
Without a flaw: some harbor muck below
That muddles building; some hide barren soil
Plowed up too long to nurture crops of worth;
And some lie cold, interred beneath the snow.
Small faults should hardly make stout hearts recoil,
But you would probe our playground to the core—
Unsettled by fears of earthquakes laid in store.