the first glimpse of another renaissance still beyond the horizon.' Most recently Becher has written leaflet poems to be dropped behind the German lines by Russian planes.
by JOHANNES R. BECHER
HIM NO CHOIRS chant, nor chimes do publicly regret.
No honoring salvos ritually stamp above his grave.
Down sinks the coffin and but the digger's eyes are wet;
His memory no sibilant mourners come to save.
A gnarled tree stands beside, dry branched and weather torn.
No bud has ever promised, no bloom e'er given delight.
Yet one strange day as if for festival adorned
The tree burst into blossom; its leaves grew bright.
And birds perched there and brought a further bloom of song.
Above it the attentive sky shone blue and long;
And, like ointment, glistening sunlight laved the tree.
'Who knows? In this poor grave a fallen hero lies?'
The whisper streams abroad and shines in knowing eyes.
'Perhaps one "shot, attempting flight"--and us to free!'II
What brought this blossoming? This bloom, is it a sign?
The dead beneath, perhaps, has sent these messages.
The once bare lime tree flowers, the oak, the chestnut shine;
All Germany is radiant with these presages.
It was as if new bloom burst from the sere and dry.
In Naumburg flowers grew from stones and crowned the steeple;
And seeing how the land renewed itself and by
This blossoming restored, how sang and laughed the people!