Thursday, March 21, 2013

1918 to 2918


By Kipling

This is the State above the Law.
The State exists for the State alone."
[This is a gland at the back of the jaw,
And an answering lump by the collar-bone.]

Some die shouting in gas or fire;
Some die silent, by shell and shot.
Some die desperate, caught on the wire -
Some die suddenly. This will not.

"Regis suprema voluntas Lex"
[It will follow the regular course of--throats.]
Some die pinned by the broken decks,
Some die sobbing between the boats.

Some die eloquent, pressed to death
By the sliding trench as their friends can hear
Some die wholly in half a breath.
Some--give trouble for half a year.

"There is neither Evil nor Good in life
Except as the needs of the State ordain."
[Since it is rather too late for the knife,
All we can do is to mask the pain.]

Some die saintly in faith and hope--
One died thus in a prison-yard--
Some die broken by rape or the rope;
Some die easily. This dies hard.

"I will dash to pieces who bar my way.
Woe to the traitor! Woe to the weak! "
[Let him write what he wishes to say.
It tires him out if he tries to speak.]

Some die quietly. Some abound
In loud self-pity. Others spread
Bad morale through the cots around .
This is a type that is better dead.

"The war was forced on me by my foes.
All that I sought was the right to live."
[Don't be afraid of a triple dose;
The pain will neutralize all we give.

Here are the needles. See that he dies
While the effects of the drug endure. . . .
What is the question he asks with his eyes?--
Yes, All-Highest, to God, be sure.]


By Simon Bucher-Jones

This is the Time of Recompense.
The State lives not for the State alone."
[Every life that is lived is within the dense,
Recording mass of the space-time foam.]

Some wake shouting of gas or fire;
Some wake silent, where shelling’s not.
Some wake desperate for their lost sire -
Some wake fearing the fire that’s hot.

"De minimus non curat Lex"
[We are not the judges of the former dead.]
Some wake in the comfort of holo-decks,
Some wake in a rebuild of their last bed.

Some wake eloquent, impressed with life
With a quip awaiting a living ear
Some wake grasping for the fatal knife,
Some—lie catatonic for half a year.

"There is neither Evil nor Good in rebirth
We are not the judges of the dust that wept."
[A body can bring forth both sorrow and mirth,
No evil lived when in death they slept..]

Some wake saintly in faith and hope--
One woke thus who hanged in prison-yard--
Some wake broken in mind, or habit, or trope;
Some memories are easy. Some are hard.

"I set my German will on the servile slave.
Woe to the gypsy! Woe to the jew!"
[We wipe away what we can not save.
Some minds will have to be built anew.]

Some wake quietly. Some abound
In loud self-pity. Others spread
Their ancient feuds through the cots around.
We are not the judges who winnow the dead.

"The war was forced on me by my foes.
I sought the lebensraum they would not give."
[Some minds have made all these dreary woes;
Nevertheless every mind will live.]

Here are the needles. See that he wakes
The effects of rebuilding and drugs will pass. . . .
Have we the soul balm that torment slakes?--
No, for we are not, God, alas.]

No comments: