– fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL

01. Dec 2008



     I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
     The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
     Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
     Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
     Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
     Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day,
     And men forgot their passions in the dread
     Of this their desolation; and all hearts
     Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
     And they did live by watchfires--and the thrones,
     The palaces of crowned kings--the huts,
     The habitations of all things which dwell,
     Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
     And men were gathered round their blazing homes
     To look once more into each other's face;
     Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
     Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
     A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
     Forests were set on fire--but hour by hour
     They fell and faded--and the crackling trunks
     Extinguish'd with a crash--and all was black.
     The brows of men by the despairing light
     Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
     The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
     And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
     Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
     And others hurried to and fro, and fed
     Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
     With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
     The pall of a past world; and then again
     With curses cast them down upon the dust,
     And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd,
     And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
     And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
     Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
     And twined themselves among the multitude,
     Hissing, but stingless--they were slain for food.
     And War, which for a moment was no more,
     Did glut himself again;--a meal was bought
     With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
     Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
     All earth was but one thought--and that was death,
     Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
     Of famine fed upon all entrails--men
     Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
     The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
     Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
     And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
     The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
     Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
     Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
     But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
     And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
     Which answered not with a caress--he died.
     The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
     Of an enormous city did survive,
     And they were enemies: they met beside
     The dying embers of an altar-place
     Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
     For an unholy usage; they raked up,
     And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
     The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
     Blew for a little life, and made a flame
     Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
     Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
     Each other's aspects--saw, and shriek'd, and died--
     Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
     Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
     Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
     The populous and the powerful--was a lump,
     Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless--
     A lump of death--a chaos of hard clay.
     The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
     And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
     Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
     And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd
     They slept on the abyss without a surge--
     The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
     The moon their mistress had expir'd before;
     The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
     And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
     Of aid from them--She was the Universe.

     Lord Byron (1788-1824)