DROUGHT

Have pity, Lord on the Earth!
O yes: I know you are patient
You had reason to be angry long ago
At prodigal and careless Humanity.
So the hour of Punishment has come.

Bow your neck then under the staff,
Bow your back and beat on your chest
O proud Man with your science!
Unable to make a drop of rain.
For days and days
Weeks and months,
In which one observes the sky
In hope of a rainfall
On the dying earth.

Of your anger, Lord, Man was deserving,
But the animals and the plants?
They too are your creatures,
And they are innocent,
They have been obedient to you,
Why must they suffer?
Now the cricket is silent,
Now the bird is cut down,
The bare plain is muted.
The heifer bellows in the meadow
As dry as a desert
One’s look is pained
When his eye falls on his dog,
Will there be enough bread in the house
To keep his companion alive?
…However
Lord we want to sing again
The Credo of the Peasant:
I believe in you, Master of Nature,
Who sows everywhere Life and Fertility…
But then quit your anger,
And command the Heavens
To moisten the Earth.
Amen!

13 August 1976.

Translated by Lenora Timm





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