by Joseph Brodsky
If you suddenly walk on grass turned stone
and think its marble handsomer than green,
or see at play a nymph and faun that seem
happier in bronze than in any dream,
let your walking stick fall from your weary hand,
you're in The Empire, friend.
Air, fire, water, fauns, naiads, lions
drawn from nature, or bodied in imagination,
everything God ventured and reason grew bored
nourishing have in stone and metal been restored.
This is the end of things. This is, at the road's end,
a mirror by which to enter.
Stand in a niche, roll your eyes up, and watch
the ages vanish round the bend, and watch
how moss develops in the statue's groin,
how dust rains on the shoulders – that tan of time.
Someone breaks an arm off, and the head from the shoulders
falls with the thud of boulders.
The torso left is a nameless sum of muscle.
In a thousand years a mouse, living in a hole,
with a claw broken off from trying to eke
a life out of granite, will scurry with a squeak
across the road one night and not come back to its borrow
at midnight tonight. Or at daybreak tomorrow.
|< Advice to Ogame players | Need an astrophysicist here >|