This poem was written some two days after my first dream, as I tried to sort and
understand the feelings brought by the strange images I saw. This poem is an allusion to the fall of
the Nazi empire, and is the most beautiful thing I have ever written.


IF ROME SHOULD FALL

If the gates of that great city should open,
   spilling out the wretched refugees in search of something better,
   of something worth living for,
 other then the hope of another day.

If those holy saviors should storm those gates,
 like heavenly angels storming upon the gates of hell itself.

If those saviors should fight upon the same ground
 that thousands of others had died upon,
   that great moral battlefield of hatred and death,
   of blood and hope,
 of tears riddled with blood.

If those wretched tears,
   those tears that welcomed hope,
   such horrible hope,
   such cruel, cruel hope,
 should end as the last are silenced.

If that same hope that brought a will to survive,
   a will that made fathers steal bread from their own children,
   a hope that meant life in a place of death,
 should be diminished as the gates of wire are plowed down.

But--
   what life would that be?
   this life in a place of death?
   for they no longer fear Hell,
 for they have survived in its wake.

Hell is not a fiery pit of sufferening--
   this great place called Rome,
   Hell is a quiet Polish field of grass and blood,
   of pits and corpes,
   tarnishing the ground with not their blood,
   but with their lives,
 of what they represent.

And if those who still have the strength should walk toward
 those gates of wire,
   those great gates that separate reality from the dreamworld,
   those gates that were the edge of the world for two years,
   those gates that women and children had thrown themselves upon
 for the hope of true life by the hands of death.

If those wretched inhabitants of Rome should yell,
   Rome has fallen, Rome has fallen,
   and those who disbelieve should come out of their deseased beds
 and scream for pity,
   that those who cry of help and salvation should be silenced,
   and let those who have lost hope to die without the wild yellings of
 the living dead,
 of those who survived by stealing the bread of others.

If the watchers from their towers of wood should be silenced,
   if their staring eyes and cold faces should be shut from the world forever,
   their death fitting,
 that they should die where they had killed countless others.

If the hands of those storm troopers of life,
   those storm troopers of moral dignity,
   should fit their hands through the gates of wire,
   that the pale hands of those wretched refugees should touch the
 hands of those of their saviors,
 that their hands should embrace with a common love.

If the faces of those who had waited for death those long hours
 should smile with their eyes,
   for they are too weak to do so with their faces,
   and meet with their saviors,
   then Rome has fallen,
   and the madness of that great city has ended,
 and those who had disbelieved will shout with joy unknown to them--

'Rome has fallen, Rome has fallen.'



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