(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Goethe Translated Prometheus

So, cover, Zeus, your sky
with clouds,
and practice,
like the boy,
on thistles,
decapitation,
on oaks and mountain ranges.

My earth is mine,
you cannot take
the hut you did not build
nor yet my kitchen hearth
whose fires
you begrudge.

I know no more pathetic ones
under the sun
than you, the Gods!
You nourish, barely,
through taxes and
donations,
as well as prayer breath
your majesty,
who'd surely starve
if children, beggars,
and hopeful fools
did not exist.

I was a child,
knew not the rules
and turned my erring eye
up to the sun,
as if to find
a higher ear to listen
to my pain.

A heart like mine
with mercy for a troubled soul.

Who helped me fight
against the Titans' arrogance,
who saved from death
or slavery this man?
It was MY holy, glowing heart
betrayed by one above,
who slept and now
expects my thanks.

Why would I honour you, for what?
And, did you soothe my pain
or dry the tears of those
who lived in fear?
It was the might of time
that forged a man,
eternal fate to masters,
yours and mine?

And, did you fathom I should hate
all life and flee to deserts,
while leaving dreams
of budding flowers well behind?

Here I sit, creating humans,
an image after mine,
its gender matters not,
to suffer and to cry
in joy and happiness.
And, just like I,
with no respect for you.

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