from HUNGRY CHINA
I see Hunger watching at every house door,
Or else, his contented brother, Crime.
Nowhere could we escape from the staring
Of his eyes, the eyes of our valuable education.
Gradually he is coming between us, my dear,
For good nature can never hold his steps.
Our every weakness is being tried, I am giad-
Till Fear transforms us into stones.
Far off, he looks like our unflinching Ideal,
And now he comes with a punitive long face,
To put forth a feature daily in the newspapers
Too searching, too painful, to keep our attention for long.
And presently, my dear, sinking the ground under us,
He is shaking our thin and wearied bodies,
As if pressing for a spark of fury or whirlwind
To break out floating helplessness.
Cruelty is born out of our heart,
He calls down light, and he creates the world.
He is your wealth, he is my safety,
He is the female charm, and a good breeding.
While young he hid himself in our love,
And by our repeated weepings is he sought out.
Henceforth he becomes popular and current like a coin,
He has written history, and he is the great man today.
All our careers are merely his career,
And there in the heart of Success lies his shrine.
The lower he is kicked, the higher he rises:
He is charity, glory, high speeches, and the smiling face.
Althought nobody would reveal his name,
All our light is come out of his light;
And when we breathe daily in the smell of his dust,
Ah, the heart's shivers– what life! what death!