Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Pastoral

The little sparrows
Hop ingenuously
About the pavement
Quarreling
With sharp voices
Over those things
That interest them.
But we who are wiser
Shut ourselves in
On either hand
And no one knows
Whether we think good
Or evil.
                  Then again,
The old man who goes about
Gathering dog lime
Walks in the gutter
Without looking up
And his tread
Is more majestic than
That of the Episcopal minister
Approaching the pulpit
Of a Sunday.
These things
Astonish me beyond words.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem


“Pastoral” was published in the magazine Others (Volume 1, Number 2), in August of 1915.

Author


William Carlos Williams

Poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright William Carlos Williams is often said to have been one of the principal poets of the Imagist movement.

Date Published: 2016-04-10

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/pastoral-1