English Literature » Wystan Hugh Auden » They Wondered Why the Fruit had Been Forbidden

They Wondered Why the Fruit had Been Forbidden by

They wondered why the fruit had been forbidden:
It taught them nothing new. They hid their pride,
But did not listen much when they were chidden:
They knew exactly what to do outside.

They left. Immediately the memory faded
Of all they known: they could not understand
The dogs now who before had always aided;
The stream was dumb with whom they’d always planned.

They wept and quarrelled: freedom was so wild.
In front maturity as he ascended
Retired like a horizon from the child,

The dangers and the punishments grew greater,
And the way back by angels was defended
Against the poet and the legislator.

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