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Underground System Analysis

Author: poem of Edna St. Vincent Millay Type: poem Views: 9

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Set the foot down with distrust upon the crust of the

      world—it is thin.

Moles are at work beneath us; they have tunneled the


With separate chambers; which at an appointed knock

Could be as one, could intersect and interlock.  We walk

      on the skin

Of life.  No toil

Of rake or hoe, no lime, no phosphate, no rotation of

      crops, no irrigation of the land,

Will coax the limp and flattened grain to stand

On that bad day, or feed to strength the nibbled root's of

      our nation.

Ease has demoralized us, nearly so, we know

Nothing of the rigours of winter:  The house has a roof

      against—the car a top against—the snow.

All will be well, we say, it is  a bit, like the rising of the


For our country to prosper; who can prevail against us?

No one.

The house has a roof; but the boards of its floor are

      rotting, and hall upon hall

The moles have built their palace beneath us, we have

      not far to fall.


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