Thursday, March 3, 2011

the kings of the world are old and feeble

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The kings of the world are old and feeble.
They bring forth no heirs.
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Their sons are dying before they are men,
and their pale daughters
abandon themselves to the brokers of violence.
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Their crowns are exchanged for money
and melted down into machines,
and there is no health in it.
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Does the ore feel trapped
in coins and gears?  In the petty life
imposed upon it
does it feel homesick for earth?
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If metal could escape
from coffers and factories,
and the torn-open mountains
close around it again,
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we would be whole.
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~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from The Book of Pilgrimage, II,24

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