Shall we break off, then, our ancient friendship
With the great gods, who decline to solicit our favour?
Just because the hard steel which we forge never knew them?
And shall we suddenly search for their whereabouts on a map?
These friends in their immensity, - they who receive our dead from us, -
At no point affect the slightest movement in our gear-wheels.
We have removed our banquets afar off,
Our baths are now more advanced.
And we continually outrun their messengers, for long now too slow for us.
We solely depend on one another now, but without knowing one another.
Our paths no longer trace delicate meanders,
But are plotted by degrees. And the olden fires burn now
Only in steam boilers to lift hammers, - ever larger ones.
And we meanwhile lose our strength, like swimmers.
© Robert Temple 2010. Website designed by Jonathan Greet