Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
Edward Shanks. 1892–
168. Complaint
WHEN in the mines of dark and silent thought 
Sometimes I delve and find strange fancies there, 
With heavy labour to the surface brought 
That lie and mock me in the brighter air, 
Poor ores from starvèd lodes of poverty,         5
Unfit for working or to be refined, 
That in the darkness cheat the miner's eye, 
I turn away from that base cave, the mind. 
Yet had I but the power to crush the stone 
There are strange metals hid in flakes therein,  10
Each flake a spark sole-hidden and alone, 
That only cunning, toilsome chemists win. 
All this I know, and yet my chemistry 
Fails and the pregnant treasures useless lie. 

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