How firmly they stand,
the spires of history
that no one can destroy.
What a curious melange
of hate and love
and yesterday's antipathy.
Indifferent they are,
leaving us their basic legacy--
shining, mocking; it is their heritage,
and the winds of change have no effect
upon a single word.
Within their shadow is enshrined,
the totality of every lie
and every truth we ever knew.
Tread softly in their midst--
It is rarified companionship they offer.
Dare we even to essay to smooth the path
historic footsteps made,
or cleared the way for ours?
There is no answer from the silent skies.
It is the empty flagon of serenity,
the hopeless void that stretches out forever,
calling forth the meditator to his bench,
and time to its eternal rest.