la poesie

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by rifke, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    post your favourite poems! or do what you like, I don't care, but im going to post mine!

    The Geranium

    When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail,
    She looked so limp and bedraggled,
    So foolish and trusting, like a sick poodle,
    Or a wizened aster in late September,
    I brought her back in again
    For a new routine--
    Vitamins, water, and whatever
    Sustenance seemed sensible
    At the time: she'd lived
    So long on gin, bobbie pins, half-smoked cigars, dead beer,
    Her shriveled petals falling
    On the faded carpet, the stale
    Steak grease stuck to her fuzzy leaves.
    (Dried-out, she creaked like a tulip.)
    The things she endured!--
    The dumb dames shrieking half the night
    Or the two of us, alone, both seedy,
    Me breathing booze at her,
    She leaning out of her pot toward the window.

    Near the end, she seemed almost to hear me--
    And that was scary--
    So when that snuffling cretin of a maid
    Threw her, pot and all, into the trash-can,
    I said nothing.

    But I sacked the presumptuous hag the next week,
    I was that lonely.

    -theodore roethke
     
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  2. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    Dream Song 29
    By John Berryman

    There sat down, once, a thing on Henry’s heart
    só heavy, if he had a hundred years
    & more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time
    Henry could not make good.
    Starts again always in Henry’s ears
    the little cough somewhere, an odour, a chime.

    And there is another thing he has in mind
    like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
    would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,
    with open eyes, he attends, blind.
    All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;
    thinking.

    But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
    end anyone and hacks her body up
    and hide the pieces, where they may be found.
    He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody’s missing.
    Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
    Nobody is ever missing.
     
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  3. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    The Song of Wandering Aengus
    By William Butler Yeats

    I went out to the hazel wood,
    Because a fire was in my head,
    And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
    And hooked a berry to a thread;
    And when white moths were on the wing,
    And moth-like stars were flickering out,
    I dropped the berry in a stream
    And caught a little silver trout.

    When I had laid it on the floor
    I went to blow the fire a-flame,
    But something rustled on the floor,
    And someone called me by my name:
    It had become a glimmering girl
    With apple blossom in her hair
    Who called me by my name and ran
    And faded through the brightening air.

    Though I am old with wandering
    Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
    I will find out where she has gone,
    And kiss her lips and take her hands;
    And walk among long dappled grass,
    And pluck till time and times are done,
    The silver apples of the moon,
    The golden apples of the sun.
     
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  4. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    Elm
    By Sylvia Plath

    I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root:
    It is what you fear.
    I do not fear it: I have been there.

    Is it the sea you hear in me,
    Its dissatisfactions?
    Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness?

    Love is a shadow.
    How you lie and cry after it
    Listen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.

    All night I shall gallop thus, impetuously,
    Till your head is a stone, your pillow a little turf,
    Echoing, echoing.

    Or shall I bring you the sound of poisons?
    This is rain now, this big hush.
    And this is the fruit of it: tin-white, like arsenic.

    I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets.
    Scorched to the root
    My red filaments burn and stand, a hand of wires.

    Now I break up in pieces that fly about like clubs.
    A wind of such violence
    Will tolerate no bystanding: I must shriek.

    The moon, also, is merciless: she would drag me
    Cruelly, being barren.
    Her radiance scathes me. Or perhaps I have caught her.

    I let her go. I let her go
    Diminished and flat, as after radical surgery.
    How your bad dreams possess and endow me.

    I am inhabited by a cry.
    Nightly it flaps out
    Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.

    I am terrified by this dark thing
    That sleeps in me;
    All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.

    Clouds pass and disperse.
    Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables?
    Is it for such I agitate my heart?

    I am incapable of more knowledge.
    What is this, this face
    So murderous in its strangle of branches?——

    Its snaky acids hiss.
    It petrifies the will. These are the isolate, slow faults
    That kill, that kill, that kill.
     
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  5. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    [Buffalo Bill 's]
    By E. E. Cummings
    Buffalo Bill ’s
    defunct
    who used to
    ride a watersmooth-silver
    stallion
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    Jesus

    he was a handsome man
    and what i want to know is
    how do you like your blue-eyed boy
    Mister Death


    I (rifke speaking, this isn't part of the poem) am related to buffalo bill, fyi. pretty cool, I know.
     
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  6. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    Money Doesn't Change Everything
    By redpathetic

    If you have money,
    But you don't listen well,
    But you think you do...
    You listen for cliches you can throw into the soup,
    Of your complacent beliefs,
    You will continue to be alone,
    With your slaves.
    I heard you,
    I heard you very well.
    My heart feels the insult,
    When I listen to your walled off ears.
    That insulated mouth spouting of sludge,
    Your man slaves deem words of wisdom.
    You keep at it, like a crack addict.
    I've gone back into my dingy life of poverty.
    It drones on like you, monotonously.
    I can at least pretend it's swell,
    Without your pompous lures freshly ringing in my ears.
     
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  7. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot


    Mistah Kurtz - he dead.

    A penny for the Old Guy


    I

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other kingdom
    Remember us - if at all - not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.



    II

    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death's dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind's singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.

    Let me be no nearer
    In death's dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer -

    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom



    III

    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man's hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.

    Is it like this
    In death's other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.


    IV

    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of this tumid river

    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death's twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.


    V

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow

    For Thine is the Kingdom

    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow

    Life is very long

    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow

    For Thine is the Kingdom

    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but with a whimper.
     
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  8. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    To The Male Vixen
    By redpathetic

    That thing, that fruit, between your legs,
    You loved showing it off.
    It got you high and then you took a bite out of mine.
    Juicy and sweet, we met, we don't meet.
    You were there now you're not.
    You never were.
    Just your spirit was there, very aware,
    Your spirit, not your insanity.
    Just you, as you were,
    Before they got to you, after they got to you,
    Your spirit, alone, escaped, running rampant, crazed.
    Have you calmed down and taken stock of what you've done yet?
    Do you know what you want now?

    The dream I have, still lives, but in muted form, much lower on the list of priority,
    Because it's proven to lead me astray, far too astray,
    When you get a hold of it and yank my chain,
    Then you yank it out from under me and I crash.
    Crash, smash, destroy, the hold you have on me, that dream.
    That awful dream.
     
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  9. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    Maybe In The Next World
    By redpathetic

    Is there anyone else alive,
    I bet there is.
    How you wish us all dead.
    No cruel means of dying is too good for us.
    The only time you're nice is when you think you're at our mercy.
    The more innocent one is,
    The more you hate them.
    I guess you're one of the sociopaths that go into politics.
    When you're kids are grown.
    If they're still alive.
    Have you killed your husband yet I wonder.
    He'd be worth more dead if he's opened his eyes.
    You've killed everyone.
    One way or another.
    I'm glad you failed when you attempted so many times,
    My life.
    Despite the horror of knowing I may have to see your ugly face,
    Still.
    I know you'll never be satisfied.
    The itch will only get stronger.
    I'm hoping I'll be ready for you next time.
    I'll see that smirk you always got when you'd thought I was about to die.
    Then I'll see that smirk turn into something more beautiful, finally.
    You'll look good for once.
    It must have been a terrible tease to see me so close to death.
    I bet you wish that baseball bat hit just a little harder,
    That the electricity were a little stronger,
    That I hadn't been able to gather evidence under my fingernails,
    That time you tried to drown me.
    I know without any doubt you meant to.
    My fingernails, saved my life as you knew,
    From all those murder mysteries you would read.
    Dead,
    at last,
    But with your ankle skin gouged out.
    It would have been too obvious.
    You'd have been the only child.
    You want to be the only child still,
    On this planet,
    In this universe.
    Ever.
    Everyone thinks you're so clean.
    Except the dead.
    And I.
     
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  10. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    An Arundel Tomb
    By Philip Larkin

    Side by side, their faces blurred,
    The earl and countess lie in stone,
    Their proper habits vaguely shown
    As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
    And that faint hint of the absurd—
    The little dogs under their feet.

    Such plainness of the pre-baroque
    Hardly involves the eye, until
    It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
    Clasped empty in the other; and
    One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
    His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

    They would not think to lie so long.
    Such faithfulness in effigy
    Was just a detail friends would see:
    A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
    Thrown off in helping to prolong
    The Latin names around the base.

    They would not guess how early in
    Their supine stationary voyage
    The air would change to soundless damage,
    Turn the old tenantry away;
    How soon succeeding eyes begin
    To look, not read. Rigidly they

    Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
    Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
    Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
    Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
    Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
    The endless altered people came,

    Washing at their identity.
    Now, helpless in the hollow of
    An unarmorial age, a trough
    Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
    Above their scrap of history,
    Only an attitude remains:

    Time has transfigured them into
    Untruth. The stone fidelity
    They hardly meant has come to be
    Their final blazon, and to prove
    Our almost-instinct almost true:
    What will survive of us is love.
     
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  11. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    My Last Duchess
    By Robert Browning


    FERRARA


    That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
    Looking as if she were alive. I call
    That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands
    Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
    Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
    “Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
    Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
    The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
    But to myself they turned (since none puts by
    The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
    And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
    How such a glance came there; so, not the first
    Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
    Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
    Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek; perhaps
    Fra Pandolf chanced to say, “Her mantle laps
    Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
    Must never hope to reproduce the faint
    Half-flush that dies along her throat.” Such stuff
    Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
    For calling up that spot of joy. She had
    A heart—how shall I say?— too soon made glad,
    Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
    She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
    Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
    The dropping of the daylight in the West,
    The bough of cherries some officious fool
    Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
    She rode with round the terrace—all and each
    Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
    Or blush, at least. She thanked men—good! but thanked
    Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
    My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
    With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
    This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
    In speech—which I have not—to make your will
    Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
    Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
    Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
    Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
    Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse—
    E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
    Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
    Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
    Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
    Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
    As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
    The company below, then. I repeat,
    The Count your master’s known munificence
    Is ample warrant that no just pretense
    Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
    Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
    At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
    Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
    Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
    Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
     
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  12. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    Ode to a Nightingale
    By John Keats

    My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
    My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
    Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
    One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
    'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
    But being too happy in thine happiness,—
    That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
    In some melodious plot
    Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
    Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

    O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
    Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
    Tasting of Flora and the country green,
    Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
    O for a beaker full of the warm South,
    Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
    With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
    And purple-stained mouth;
    That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
    And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

    Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
    What thou among the leaves hast never known,
    The weariness, the fever, and the fret
    Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
    Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
    Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
    And leaden-eyed despairs,
    Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
    Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

    Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
    Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
    But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
    Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
    Already with thee! tender is the night,
    And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
    Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
    But here there is no light,
    Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
    Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

    I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
    Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
    But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
    Wherewith the seasonable month endows
    The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
    White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
    Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
    And mid-May's eldest child,
    The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
    The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

    Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
    I have been half in love with easeful Death,
    Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
    To take into the air my quiet breath;
    Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
    To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
    In such an ecstasy!
    Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
    To thy high requiem become a sod.

    Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
    No hungry generations tread thee down;
    The voice I hear this passing night was heard
    In ancient days by emperor and clown:
    Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
    Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
    She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
    The same that oft-times hath
    Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
    Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

    Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
    To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
    Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
    As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
    Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
    Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
    Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
    In the next valley-glades:
    Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
    Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
     
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  13. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    Somewhere In My Head
    By redpathetic

    I haven’t forgotten you, or, the image I’ve made of you.
    When I say you, it may be that I’m talking about pure fantasy.
    You, are something I don’t feel I’m quite good enough for,
    But neither are you, for me.
    I’ll work on my end, with the vast array of blocks to try to overcome.
    I’m sure you’ll work on yours, with the equally vast array.
    I feel the words “ I love you. “ coming from my lips toward your ears,
    But I wonder what these words mean and where they come from originally.
    “ I love you. “;
    Does this mean that I love you?
    I think so.

    Why I say this to you specifically…
    Is because the parts fit,
    There is serendipity, though scant and thin, slippery and fleeting.
    Chemistry, imaginary? My imagination? Yours too? Yours possibly?
    Those nuts and bolts, that are what they are.

    Can I feel you?
    Am I happy?
    Is there pain? What kind of pain?
    What kind of happiness?
    What type of feeling?

    I know that it’s unlikely you share this dream.
    Perhaps dreaming is enough for me.
     
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  14. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

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    After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
    By Emily Dickinson

    After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
    The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
    The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
    And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

    The Feet, mechanical, go round –
    A Wooden way
    Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
    Regardless grown,
    A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

    This is the Hour of Lead –
    Remembered, if outlived,
    As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
    First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
     
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  15. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    Not In This World
    By redpathetic

    I burn for your attention,
    Like an addict for the drug.
    I won't give in to your prices,
    That illness like a vice.
    You must think I look at you like you do me.
    You really have no idea.
    But everyone would agree.
    Every man deserves white snow,
    And every woman should be happy with the yellow.
     
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  16. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    dumbass
    By redpathetic

    I wouldn't be surprised if you don't even know my name.
    Just that one generic name you use for us all,
    So glibly it hurts.
    Didn't you notice, How I melted before you.
    So how many other women did you dream about?
    Did you cut and paste those words,
    Send them out with the generic name you address us all with,
    To save yourself any mushy fuss?
    Did you read about how to catch us fish in sporting magazine?
    Ten, for the price of one!
    How about, none, for the price of none.
     
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  17. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

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    It Cannot Be You
    By redpathetic

    If you call me,
    I hope I will keep you away,
    Because I doubt you could make the pain go away.
    You with your big cock,
    Thinking you're so shit hot.
    Your golden bracelets,
    Making you look like a precious doll,
    Your game playing,
    You're sort of a jock.

    You claim to be simple and true.
    I smirk when I think this of you.
    You can feel my untempered ground,
    From across the city.
    The unanswered questions I never asked, never verbally.
    The questions you are too afraid to answer.
    You look at me and you see a swamp.
    That swamp is you, on me, like paint on canvas.
    You don't like. That makes us two.

    I'm learning from this,
    What I like, and what I don't.
    I'll open the bottle of turpentine.
    I hope you don't call.
    I may be weak.
    I'm very strong, see how I've taken your hint?
    More independant than an outdoor cat,
    Off at the neighbors,
    Who at least give me water and kibble,
    A reassuring pat.
    Don't tempt me back in.
    Please don't do that.
    It hurts a little, to let you go,
    BUT PLEASE LET ME GO.
    Drift away, drift, far away,
    Let me drift far away from your grasp.

    I don't wish you pain,
    Though I accept what's inevitable,
    Whatever pain comes from missing you, or you missing me.
    I won't beat myself up,
    For thinking you may miss me and I won't come.
    I won't come to your rescue.
    Because you've made me choose,
    Between us, to be for Me, or for You.
    It cannot be you.
    The days of me seeing the likes of you as my superiors,
    Are long past expiration date due.

    I'm sorry if by chance I become such the prance,
    That you look at me with longing in your cold heart.
    Truly sorry I gave you a taste.
    What's done is done,
    Wouldn't you say?
    Keep your paint off me,
    If you're going to do me that way.
    Keep your paint off me,
    It will be spent in vain.
    You can't do me justice.
    Go AWAY.
    You think I'm not good enough for you.
    You paint without affection,
    Dress me in cliche.
    I don't wish you pain.
    Just stay away.
     
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  18. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2,382
    Location:
    Here
    Tiny Bubbles
    By redpathetic

    Raw, I want life, to live, through my will.
    You, whoever you are,
    Beyond the border,
    You are outside the membrane I do not see you,
    Anymore than I have to.

    My cocoon is the only place I'm assured sanctity,
    From incompatibles that are like dust particles everywhere.
    I spray, scour, pray,
    They won't go away,
    So I cloister myself in my big bubble that is so tiny,

    So cute and hateful to most,
    They want to pierce it and watch it spew me out on my face.
    My bubble is the only safe place.
    I watch through the transparency,
    With an unfocused gaze.
     
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  19. Light Housework

    Light Housework formerly redpathetic Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2,382
    Location:
    Here
    No Escape
    By redpathetic

    I know you love me.
    You can't help feel for me.
    I must love you.
    You turn straw into gold when you look at me.
    I see through the cliche when I hear your heart beat.
    That look in your eyes.
    How could it ever go unnoticed?
    Could it really?
    You make me cry,
    In a way that is much better than being numb.
    Tears of desire and admiration, longing.
    At least I've dreamed,
    Along with you.
     
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  20. rifke

    rifke queen of the universe

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    10,422
    Location:
    the woods
    a fiver for whoever can guess who wrote this (no looking it up!). not posting as a favourite of mine, just as a curiousity.


    In the Thicket of the Forest at Artois –

    It was in the thicket of the Artois Wood.
    Deep in the trees, on blood-soaked ground,
    Lay stretched a wounded German warrior,
    And his cries rang out in the night.
    In vain … no echo answered his plea …
    Will he bleed to death like a beast,
    That shot in the gut dies alone?
    Then suddenly …
    Heavy steps approach from the right
    He hears how they stamp on the forest floor …
    And new hope springs from his soul.
    And now from the left …
    And now from both sides …

    Two men approach his miserable bed
    A German it is, and a Frenchman.
    And each watches the other with distrustful glance,
    And threatening they aim their weapons.
    The German warrior asks:
    “What do you do here?”
    “I was touched by the needy one’s call for help.”

    “It’s your enemy!”
    “It is a man who suffers.”

    And both, wordless, lowered their weapons.
    Then entwined their hands
    And, with muscles tensed, carefully lifted
    The wounded warrior, as if on a stretcher,
    And carried him through the woods.
    ‘Til they came to the German outposts.
    “Now it is over. He will get good care.”
    And the Frenchman turns back toward the woods.
    But the German grasps for his hand,
    Looks, moved, into sorrow-dimmed eyes
    And says to him with earnest foreboding:

    “I know not what fate holds for us,
    Which inscrutably rules in the stars.
    Perhaps I shall fall, a victim of your bullet.
    Maybe mine will fell you on the sand —
    For indifferent is the chance of battles.
    Yet, however it may be and whatever may come:
    We lived these sacred hours,
    Where man found himself in man …
    And now, farewell! And God be with you!”
     
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