Is Nature this bright butterfly
(A sight to lift the heart)
Whose flicker stirs tsunami waves
To tear the world apart?
Mankind it was raised Nature up
To worship at her school,
With Chaos the curriculum
And Change the golden rule.
Is Nature, then, some satirist
Of blind indifference
To leave her victims living shells
With neither wit nor sense?
And was it Nature who supplied
These sinews and this arm?
And may I then strike back at her
If she should do me harm?
And does our Mother toy with us,
Or labour unawares?
No sooner have we scaled a height
She kicks us down the stairs.
Or does she play the Lizard Queen
Who feeds upon her kin—
A smiling face on sunlit hills,
A gaping maw within?
Come, nurse and nemesis in one—
Come, Nature, and relent:
Else beg no mercy when your son
Repays the compliment.