GATHERING LEAVESSpades take up leavesNo better than spoons,And bags full of leavesAre light as balloons.I make a great noiseOf rustling all dayLike rabbit and deerRunning away.But the mountains I raiseElude my embrace,Flowing over my armsAnd into my face.I may load and unloadAgain and againTill I fill the whole shed,And what have I then?Next to nothing for weight,And since they grew dullerFrom contact with earth,Next to nothing for color.Next to nothing for use.But a crop is a crop,And who's to say whereThe harvest shall stop?
Keats mourned that the rainbow, which as a boy had been for him a magic thing, had lost its glory because the physicists had found it resulted merely from the refraction of the sunlight by the raindrops. Yet knowledge of its causation could not spoil the rainbow for me. I am sure that it is not given to man to be omniscient. There will always be something left to know, something to excite the imagination of the poet and those attuned to the great world in which they live (p. 64)