manjushra (manjushra) wrote,

Abbaye de Villers-la-Ville

In the face of this, I admiring stand,
skyward my eyes follow this grand
ruin, this monastic place, mysterious,
magnificent, imbued with style and strength,
with soaring arcs of stone. And men
built this thing, aspired and dreamed of this:
that it would stand, and stand, a monument
to them, their prayers, their gold, their covenant
with Him and His undying testament.

These stones now wet and naked roofless rest
beneath grey skies, moss-ridden, lichen-dressed,
witness to the little left to say,
the banal truth: in glory lurks decay.
Ten thousand monks and brothers lived here, prayed,
controlled their thoughts and passions, and were laid
to fertilize a damp terranean bed
and sympathize with Ozymandias' head.

But hey, what use, on New Year's Day
To rehearse banal truths?! Yes, we decay
And building stuff is pointless. And we did
Not err, nor build, nor speak, nor own. We hid
Effectively our dreams. We'd paid our due
To history, and learned our lessons. Phew.

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