Twelve good friends
Passed under her hat,
And devil a one of them
Knew where he was at.
Had they but known,
Then had they known all things, --
The littleness of great things,
The unmeasured immensity of small things.
They had known the Where and the Why,
The When and the Wherefore,
And how the Eternal
Conceived the Eternal, and therefore
Beginning began the Beginning;
They had apprehended
The ultimate virtue of sinning;
They had caught the whisper
That Vega vibrates to Arcturus,
Piercing the walls
Of heavy flesh that immure us.
But if they had known,
Then had there been no mystery;
And Life had been poorer,
And laughter unsurer,
And the shadow of death securer,
By lack of this brief history.