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A youth


I do not know why I was born into this world,

I do not ask why I shall die.

When I was born the delicate May morn unfurled

its flowery freshness to the eye.

 

I greeted youthful Spring, I greeted vernal youth

and opened eager eyes to see

how life would come to me, beautiful and smooth,

amid a joyous rhapsody.

 

But no, I wasn't hailed by Spring with merry sounds

and showers of fragrant petals,

instead, a villain met me with a pack of hounds

to put my hands and feet in fetters.

 

Through clouds of fiendish greed and wicked spite,

a sinister shadow crept near,

a gold-armoured monster reared his height

dripping with blood and human tears.

 

In the falling gloom loomed faces pale and lea,

I heard laments in plaintive strains

and threats to repay for pain and vileness mean,

I also heard the clatter of chains.

 

I recognized my brothers who were kept enslaved

by the ungodly god of gold,

I saw the spirit of man: abased, depraved

and crucified a thousandfold.

 

I cried out in iron words and wrathful indignation:

May this be the dire day of doom!

The day of ruin and of new creation!

May fires blaze in this icy gloom!

 

May this, our earth, begin a fiery feast!

May the thunder roll and glow!

The slaves will unite to fight the monstrous beast,

and hurricanes of souls will blow!

 

I'll raise the banner of brotherhood unfurled,

and I will keep it flying high,

and then I'll know why I've come into the world,

I'll also know for what to die.

 

1922

 


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