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“The Fate of Zantium

Poem by Watchman Bruno Lev


Zantium!

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.


Iskirra!

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.


Zantium!

Civilization eternal!

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.


Iskirra!

Fouling the land!

Bloodying the fields!

Poisoning the waters!

Merciless predators!

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.

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