inauspicious days give weight to smoke and,
while white-robed Peace wraps herself about with virtue,
the human comedy prevails;
concerns itself with trifles
while entertaining, nightly,
the delights of battle.
poetry and truth scuttle away,
leaving behind them a trail of their scattered remains -
a precocious child, pointing to the venal throng and
laughing at its demands for more than bread and the circus
as their love for gold grows apace.
...and something bitter arises...
Time, devourer of all things,
becomes a makeshift accomplice to the avaricious man
who hopes to appease the household gods
with naught but a grain of attic salt
tossed carelessly upon the burying ground of wisdom.
appeal to the rabble,
the headless, servile herd;
expound your theory -
and hold aloft, for all to see, the one book...
this black game of yours shall surely bring about
a day of wrath to encompass the world;
man of straw, parvenu with hands unwashed,
dispensing false shame and false hope equally
while offering the greatest reverence to
the innocence of a nation,
uttering commonplaces gracefully,
until even feeble darts aspire to prick
the thick skins of those who pay nothing more
than lip-service to the ideology of world peace.
...and the workshop of the world will crank industriously,
labouring to spawn something infinitely worse than the coming disease;
shockingly efficient, startlingly fecund, the mechanical womb...
in an index of words, no dissenting voice
may be heard above the clamour of the forum
as, word for word, the propaganda machine leads on by the nose
down the ancient, well-trodden course of honourable conflict;
then pensive men watch
as a certain weariness of life gives way
to a name - and also an omen...
and i have never felt more alone than now,
for who will watch the watchers when
vicissitudes of fortune depend upon the aloof and on the drunk
as, with unequal steps, they lumber
towards an inevitable doom,
wounding the sky with dangerous ease,
minds high on bright rectitude and tunnel-vision...
for those of you about to die, in saddest irony i salute you,
your foolishness, your imbecilic reasoning;
for when the mind that informs the masses is quite insane,
stark opportunity gathers at the door
and those with presence of wit will fling wide that door,
and the sheep will stampede towards
the cliff of their final, foolish end - quite unprepared.
and know you this:
in the time of war, laws are silent
and lawlessness will shield the few yet mark the many;
and private sorrows will be trampled
underfoot in uncertain sunlight,
for none will stay to grieve...
when you stand above all others,
stand well-clear of the edge lest you should fall -
for the fall is a long one -
and heads, like hands and feet before them,
shall fall into abyss.
with punic faith and fists and heels, enjoy your black day
and, at the moment of your death,
kiss the hand of monomania;
for stealthy, unforseen dangers wait
attentively to harvest.
this one came about after looking at latin sayings and their translations - some wonderful phrases - i couldn't help but be inspired to get busy.