|What was, has faded: what is, is fading: but of these words few can tell the worth;|
Time still is gaping with expectation of what is nearest its hour of birth.
New tidings slowly come drop by drop from my pitcher gurgling of time’s new sights,
As I count over the beads strung out on my threaded rosary of days and nights.
With each man friendly, with each I vary, and have a new part at my command:
To one the rider, to one the courser, to one the whiplash of reprimand.
If in the circle you were not numbered, was it your own fault or mine?
To humour no-one am I accustomed to keep untasted the midnight wine!
No planet-gazer can ever see through my winding mazes; for when the eye
That aims it sees by no lights from Heaven, the arrow wavers and glances by.
That is no dawn at the Western skyline—it is a bloodbath, that ruddy glow!
Await to-morrow; our yesterday and to-day are legends of long ago.
From Nature’s forces their reckless science has stripped the garments away, until
At last its own nesting-place is scorched by the restless lightning it cannot still:
To them the trade-wind belongs, the sky-way, to them the ocean, to them the ship—
It shall not serve them to calm the whirlpool by which their fate holds them in its grip!
But now a new world is being born, while this old one sinks out of sight of men,
This world the gamblers of Europe turned into nothing else than a gambling-den.
That man will still keep his lantern burning, however tempests blow strong and cold,
Whose soul is centred on high, whose temper the Lord has cast in the royal mould.