by Richard Wilbur
Who says I shall not straighten till I bend,
And must be broken if I hope to mend?
Did Samson gain by being chained and blind?
Dark heaven hints at something of the kind.
Seeing that as we beat toward Hercules
Our flank is compassed by the galaxy's,
And we drawn off from our intended course
By a grand reel of stars whose banded force,
Catching us up, makes light of all our loss,
And dances us into the Northern Cross.
Well, if I must surrender and be gay
In the wrong pasture of the Milky Way,
If in the Cross I must resign my Sword,
To hang among the trophies of the Lord,
Let my distinction not consist alone
In having let myself be overthrown.
It was my loves and labors, carried high,
Which drove the flight that heaven turns awry,
My dreams which told the stars what they should tell.
Let the Swan, dying, sing of that as well.