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So Babbles the Tower.

From on high,
I cast a lazy glance
across the flooded street,
a river of people
and automobiles.

I am safe here,
within my temple
catching such brief delight
as floats by my gaze.

The greater part
of my hours
are not so pleasant
but for the displeasure
I neglect by such detachment.

Cool is the breeze
that marks my window pain,
and spins about my head
the sounds of distant

Dark is the night
that rests above
these blazing streets,
set afire by so much
drunken `bliss'.

I abstain, I say,
and to their cheer
I mock "be well
to guard your destiny
that it not bear ill fruit."

"For in that mirth,
you drink a life's portent,
and pass these days
is swollen ignorance
of your merry doom."

Up they look,
from under broad hats,
bearing ivory teeth,
"What say you, who
dangles so much words
from dispassioned `heights'?"

Queer they laugh,
"While we dance and sing,
you simply shout
of all we're missing,
but what about?"

"There you sit,
alone and cold,
where the little pleasure
you enjoy, comes
by our passing revery."

"Ha!" They cry,
"Why should we envy
the solace and melancholy
of a misfit
Booeymonger?"                         (or "boorish monger")

Still I proclaim,
Yet I maintain,
that life squandered
by such fortune
is war against our name,

As people of a place,
a nation not by blood
but by one thought univocal
that there be no king,
but all and one a citizen.


But by the self-deceitful irony,
of alcohol and gold,
each plebe proclaims his blood royale,
while novel vintage, for a soul,
he flaunts his robes imperial.

And she to tease his favoured eye
entreats him with a flirting tale,
to grasp in her embrace,
a taste of bitter-sweet

So on they dance,
these children there
beneath my window pain,
O that he might sober,
and she might wake,
to know the dear humanity
  they obliterate in every drink.

© hok, September 27, 1993