FROM stone to bronze, from bronze to steel
Along the road-dust of the sun,
Two revolutions of the wheel
From Java to Geneva run.
The snarl Neanderthal is worn
Close to the smiling Aryan lips,
The civil polish of the horn
Gleams from our praying finger tips.
The evolution of desire
Has but matured a toxic wine,
Drunk long before its heady fire
Reddened Euphrates or the Rhine.
Between the temple and the cave
The boundary lies tissue-thin:
The yearlings still the altars crave
As satisfaction for a sin.
The road goes up, the road goes down--
Let Java or Geneva be--
But whether to the cross or crown,
The path lies through Gethsemane.
THEY brought their youth up on the lore
Of the Phoenix and the pyre,
Of birth from death and gold from fire
And the myth of the Aryan spore.
They measured life in metric tons,
Assessed both man and beast,
And with their patriot sweat they greased
The breechblocks of their guns.