“The Fate of Zantium”
Poem by Watchman Bruno Lev
Pride of the one god!
Heart-jewel of the crown!
Son of yearning, daughter of hope
Beautiful child of song!
I weep at your destruction!
Rounded up like sheep to the slaughter
Content to live under the yoke of their new masters
The conquered take the cup that is pressed to their lips
They drink too deeply and for too long, transfixed
By benevolent overlords safeguarding a new world
Preparing the way for a better world
And the pacified believe what they are told.
Massacring the innocent!
Raping the defenseless!
Defiling the house of the god!
Thieves in the night!
I spit upon your graves!
For whom is the wine bitter as gall?
Who among them can still stand at all?
The patriot, the devout, the old regime
Victims of the enemy’s schemes
From the roofs of towers they are hurled
Declared the erring sinners of this world
Martyrs and saints in the next.
Cornerstone of the world!
Father of nations, mother of peoples
Salt of the earth!
We weep at your doom!
In a final act of spiteful killing
Your schools of thought are set to burning
Book and scroll cast into flame
It is forbidden to speak your native names
For the tongue of the Zantines is used to conspire
Against the sorcerers who scourge with scythes of iron
Scraping the sky and scarring the earth.
Fouling the land!
Bloodying the fields!
Poisoning the waters!
We spit in your eyes!
Twelve kings there were on a marble throne
Sleeping now in halls of stone
No shadow falls upon their tomb
No mourners passing through the gloom
There is no one left to honor the dead
None willing to go where their ancestors tread
Not even to bury the last king, abandoned among the slain.