Now shall I praise the cities, those long-surviving
(I watched them in awe) great constellations of earth.
For only in praising is my heart still mine, so violently
do I know the world. And even my most bitter lament
turns into a paean before my disconsolate heart.
Let no one tell me I don’t love life, the eternal
presence: I pulsate in her; she bears me; she gives me
the spaciousness of this day, the primeval workday
for me to make use of, and over my existence flings out,
in her magnanimity, nights that have never been.
Her strong hand is above me, and if she should hold me under,
submerged in destiny, breathless, I would learn how to breathe
down there. Even her most lightly-entrusted mission
would fill me with songs of her; although I imagine
that all she wants is for me to be resonant as she is.
Once poets resounded over the battlefield; what voice
now can outshout the rattle of this metallic
age that struggles on toward its careening future?