The Hidden Law

The Hidden Law does not deny

Our laws of probability,

But takes the atom and the star

And human being as they are,

And answers nothing when we lie.


It is the only reason why

No government can codify,

And verbal definitions mar

              The Hidden Law.


Its utter patience will not cry

To stop us if we want to die:

When we escape It in a car,

When we forget It in a bar,

These are the ways we’re punished by

               The Hidden Law


– W.H. Auden, 1941.

The Hidden Law