Helen Hunt Jackson

(18 October 1830 – 12 August 1885 / Amherst, Massachusetts)

Danger


With what a childish and short-sighted sense
Fear seeks for safety; recons up the days
Of danger and escape, the hours and ways
Of death; it breathless flies the pestilence;
It walls itself in towers of defence;
By land, by sea, against the storm it lays
Down barriers; then, comforted, it says:
"This spot, this hour is safe." Oh, vain pretence!
Man born of man knows nothing when he goes;
The winds blow where they list, and will disclose
To no man which brings safety, which brings risk.
The mighty are brought low by many a thing
Too small to name. Beneath the daisy's disk
Lies hid the pebble for the fatal sling.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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