זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב (קהלת ה, ה): אַל תִּתֵּן אֶת פִּיךָ לַחֲטִיא אֶת בְּשָׂרֶךָ, רַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי הַמִּקְרָא הַזֶּה מְדַבֵּר בְּבַעֲלֵי לָשׁוֹן הָרָע, כֵּיצַד, אַל תִּתֵּן אֶת פִּיךָ, מַהוּ כֵן, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַפֶּה אוֹמֵר לָשׁוֹן הָרָע הוּא חוֹטֵא עַל הַגּוּף שֶׁגּוֹרֵם לוֹ לִלְקוֹת, הֲרֵי לַחְטִיא אֶת בְּשָׂרֶךָ, שֶׁהַפֶּה חוֹטֵא עַל הַבָּשָׂר, מַהוּ (קהלת ה, ה): וְאַל תֹּאמַר לִפְנֵי הַמַּלְאָךְ כִּי שְׁגָגָה הִיא, שֶׁלֹא תֹאמַר הֲרֵינִי הוֹלֵךְ וְאוֹמֵר לָשׁוֹן הָרָע וְאֵין בְּרִיָּה יוֹדַעַת, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הֱוֵי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאֲנִי שׁוֹלֵחַ מַלְאָךְ וְהוּא עוֹמֵד אֶצְלְךָ וְכוֹתֵב כָּל מַה שֶּׁאַתָּה מְדַבֵּר עַל חֲבֵרְךָ, מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (קהלת י, כ): גַּם בְּמַדָּעֲךָ מֶלֶךְ אַל תְּקַלֵּל...
הִנֵּה אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי אָנִי טוֹב אֲשֶׁר יָפֶה לֶאֱכוֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת. רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא אוֹמֵר כָּל אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה שֶׁנֶּאֶמְרָה בַּמְגִלָּה הַזֹּאת, בַּתּוֹרָה וּבְמַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים נֶאֶמְרָה. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָה וְאָב שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן (קהלת ח, טו): וְהוּא יִלְוֶנּוּ בַעֲמָלוֹ. וְכִי יֵשׁ אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה מְלַוִּין אֶת הָאָדָם לַקֶּבֶר, וּמַה מְּלַוֵּהוּ, תּוֹרָה וּמַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים.
כַּאֲשֶׁר אֵינְךָ יוֹדֵעַ, שִׁבְעָה דְבָרִים מְכֻסִּים מִבְּנֵי אָדָם, וְאֵלּוּ הֵם: יוֹם הַמִּיתָה, וְיוֹם הַנֶּחָמָה, וְעֹמֶק הַדִּין, וּבַמֶּה הוּא מִשְׂתַּכֵּר, וּמַה בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ, וּמַה בְּעִבּוּרָהּ שֶׁל אִשָּׁה, וּמַלְכוּת זוֹ שֶׁל אֱדוֹם אֵימָתַי נוֹפֶלֶת. יוֹם הַמִּיתָה מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (קהלת ט, יב): לֹא יֵדַע הָאָדָם אֶת עִתּוֹ, יוֹם הַנֶּחָמָה מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ס, כב): אֲנִי ה' בְּעִתָּהּ אֲחִישֶׁנָּה. וְעֹמֶק הַדִּין מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים א, יז): כִּי הַמִּשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהִים הוּא. בַּמֶּה הוּא מִשְׂתַּכֵּר מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (קהלת ה, יח): זֹה מַתַּת אֱלֹהִים הִיא. וּמַה בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה יז, י): אֲנִי ה' חֹקֵר לֵב, וּמַה בְּעִבּוּרָהּ שֶׁל אִשָּׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כַּעֲצָמִים בְּבֶטֶן הַמְּלֵאָה. מַלְכוּת הָרְשָׁעָה זוֹ שֶׁל אֱדוֹם אֵימָתַי נוֹפֶלֶת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה סג, ד): כִּי יוֹם נָקָם בְּלִבִּי.
Thou hast no lightnings, O thou Just!
Or I their force should know;
And, if thou strike me into dust,
My soul approves the blow.
The heart, that values less its ease
Than it adores thy ways,
In thine avenging anger sees
A subject of its praise.
Pleased I could lie, concealed and lost,
In shades of central night;
Not to avoid thy wrath, thou know'st,
But lest I grieve thy sight.
Smite me, O thou, whom I provoke!
And I will love thee still:
The well deserved and righteous stroke
Shall please me, though it kill.
Am I not worthy to sustain
The worst thou canst devise;
And dare I seek thy throne again,
And meet thy sacred eyes?
Far from afflicting, thou art kind;
And, in my saddest hours,
An unction of thy grace I find,
Pervading all my powers.
Alas! thou sparest me yet again;
And, when thy wrath should move,
Too gentle to endure my pain,
Thou soothest me with thy love.
I have no punishment to fear;
But, ah! that smile from thee
Imparts a pang far more severe
Than woe itself would be.
New Heaven and Earth
I was so weary of the world, I was so sick of it,
Everything was tainted with myself
Skies, trees, flowers, birds, water
People, houses, streets, vehicles, machines
Nations, armies, war, peace making
Work, recreation, governing, anarchy.
It was all tainted with myself.
I knew it all to start with because it was all myself
When I gathered flowers, I knew it was myself plucking my own flowering
When I went in a train, I knew it was myself traveling by my own invention
When I heard the cannon of war, I listened with my own ears to my own destruction
When I saw the torn dead, I knew it was my own torn dead body. It was all me. I had done it all in my own flesh. I shall never forge the maniacal horror of it all in the end
When everything was me, I knew it all already. I anticipated it all in my soul
Because I was the author and the result I was the God and the creation at once Creator, I looked at my creation
Created, I looked at myself, the creator
It was a maniacal horror in the end.
I was a lover, I kissed the woman I loved,
and God of horror, I was kissing also myself.
I was a father and a begetter of children,
and oh, oh horror, I was begetting and conceiving in my own body.
At last came death, sufficiency of death.
And that at least relieved me. I died
I buried my beloved. It was good. I buried myself and was gone
War came, and every hand raised to murder;
very good, very good, every hand raised to murder!
Very good, very good, I am a murderer!
It is good, I can murder and murder, and see them fall
the mutilated, horror-struck youths, a multitude
one on another, and then in clusters together
smashed, all oozing with blood, and burned in heaps
going up in a foetid smoke to get rid of them
the murdered bodies of youths and men in heaps
and heaps and heaps and horrible reeking heaps
till it is almost enough, till I am reduced perhaps;
thousands and thousands of gaping, hideous foul dead
that are youths and men and me
being burned with oil, and consumed in corrupt thick smoke, that rolls
and taints and blackens the sky, till at last it is dark, dark as night, or death, or hell
and I am dead, and trodden to nought in the smoke-sodden tomb;
dead and trodden to nought in the sour black earth
of the tomb; dead and trodden to nought, trodden to nought.
God but it was good to have died and been trodden quite out, quite out, quite out
Every vestige gone. Then I am here
Risen and setting my foot in another world
Risen, accomplishing a resurrection
Risen, not born again but risen, body the same as before
New beyond knowledge of newness. Alive beyond life
Living where life was never yet dreamed of, not hinted at
Here, in the other world, still terrestrial
Myself the same as before, yet unaccountably new
I, in the sour black tomb, trodden to absolute death
I put my hand out in the night, one night, and my hand
Touched that which was verily was not me,
Verily it was not me
Where I had been was a sudden blaze
A sudden flaring blaze. So I put my hand out further, a little further
And I felt that which was not I. It verily was not I
It was the Unknown
Ha! I was a blaze leaping up
I was a tiger bursting into sunlight
I was greedy. I was mad for the unknown
I was risen, resurrected, starved from the tomb
Starved from a life of devouring always myself
Now here was I, new awakened with my hand stretching out
And touching the unknown, the real unknown
The unknown unknown!