by W.H. Auden
As I listened from a beach-chair in the shade
To all the noises that my garden made.
It seemed to me that only proper
Should be withheld from vegetables and birds.
A robin with no Christian name ran through
The Robin-Anthem which was all it knew,
And rustling flowers from some third party waited
To say which pairs, if any, should get mated.
Not one of them was capable of lying,
There was not one which knew it was dying
Or could have with a rhythm or rhyme
Assumed responsibility for time.
Let them have language to their lonely betters
Who count some days and long for certain letters;
We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep:
Words are for those with promises to keep.