To The Moderns

Ye live on coward wise, without dream or design, Older, decrepiter than is th'infecund earth. By the assassin age castrated from your birth Of every passion deep and every thought divine. Void is your brain, as void as is your heart, in fine, And eke you have befouled this world of little worth With such corrupted blood and such a breath of dearth That death alone may germ from out its mud and brine. God-murderers, men, the times undistant are, when, rolled Together in some coign, upon a heap of gold, Having the fostering earth even to the granite pilled. Unknowing what to do with days, nights, life or dream. Drowned in the boundless blank of weariness supreme. You'll drop and die like brutes, with all your pockets filled. — Charles-Marie Leconte de Lisle, Poems on the Barbarian Races, 1862

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