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The God of this World
to his Prophet

 

Go to the prosperous city,

for I have taken pity

 

on its inhabitants,

who drink and feast and dance

 

all night in lighted halls

yet know their bacchanals

 

lead nowhere in the end.

Go to them, now, commend,

 

to those with ears to hear,

a lifestyle more austere.

 

Tell all my children tired

of happiness desired

 

and never had that there

is solace in despair.

 

Say there is consolation

in ruins and ruination

 

beneath a harvest moon

that is itself a ruin,

 

comfort, however cold,

in grievances recalled

 

beside a fire dying

from lack of love and trying.

 

Bill Coyle

 

 

2002; originally printed in The Hudson
Review
.  Reprinted by permission of the
author.

Background
by Jelane


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