Robert's Thoughts

Comments (3) / March 29, 2023

In the embrace of what I call the feverish agony of my bout with this twenty-first century plague I marveled about how an eighteenth century English poet could foresee and reflect so precisely upon the human condition in which our post-Trump planet finds itself today, two centuries later.


by Alfred Tennyson (1st Baron 1809–92)

Many a hearth upon our dark globe sighs after many a vanish’d face,

Many a planet by many a sun may roll with a dust of a vanish’d race.

Raving politics, never at rest—as this poor earth’s pale history runs,—

What is it all but a trouble of ants in the gleam of a million million of suns?

Lies upon this side, lies upon that side, truthless violence mourn’d by the Wise,

Thousands of voices drowning his own in a popular torrent of lies upon lies;

Stately purposes, valor in battle, glorious annals of army and fleet,

Death for the right cause, death for the wrong cause, trumpets of victory, groans of defeat;

Innocence seeth’d in her mother’s milk, and Charity setting the martyr aflame;

Thraldom who walks with the banner of Freedom, and recks not to ruin a realm in her name;

Faith at her zenith, or all but lost in the gloom of doubts that darken the schools;

Craft with a bunch of all-heal in her hand, follow’d up by her vassal legion of fools;

Trade flying over a thousand seas with her spice and her vintage, her silk and her corn;

Desolate offing, sailorless harbors, famishing populace, wharves forlorn;

Star of the morning, Hope in the sunrise; gloom of the evening, Life at a close;

Pleasure who flaunts on her wide downway with her flying robe and her poison’d rose;

Pain, that has crawl’d from the corpse of Pleasure, a worm which writhes all day, and at night

Stirs up again in the heart of the sleeper, and stings him back to the curse of the light.

* * *

As usual, you’ll turn on the TV and find that someone, somewhere – on one of the channels for sure – will tell you that, shortly, the Donald will be found guilty of having broken the law.


3 Responses to :

  1. Jacob+Potashnik says:

    19th century poet. And, indeed, what foresight, insight, hindsight. He knew what was coming but did he have time to have a plate of schnitzel?

  2. Denis Michael Palko says:

    Good or bad publicity, it doesn’t matter, he will manage to twist it to his favour and continue feeding the millions of deranged fanatics who still support him.
    Just shows the U.S. is sill not mature enough for full fledged democracy. It is still too much wild west cowboy country

  3. janice says:

    I was hoping your bout with “the plague” was an April Fool’s joke. If not, wishing you the speediest and fullest recovery.

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