What Have We Left You to Live

by | Nov 13, 2017 | Literary Echoes | 0 comments

William Blake – The Sick Rose

O Rose, thou art sick.
The invisible worm
That flies in the night
In the howling storm

Has found our thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

What Have We Left You to Live

O Rose thou art sick! O nature thou art sick! What have we done over the years except for hacking, breaking, gnawing, and burning you? What good have we learned from you, Mother? We haven’t learned anything. After all these years of your ceaselessly giving us without conditions or limits, we still pay no heed to your warning us and giving us a chance after chance to redeem ourselves by listening more closely to your constant calls of sanity bringing us back to you; to our origins. We have grown far bigger than only speaking apes. We have betrayed you.

Like the invisible worm, we crept in the night and lurked in the dark corners of our greed of wanting more and more than we ever need. We have taken turns raping you so savagely while all of your other children stood there watching and doing nothing. Bystanders and onlookers stood there watching their dignity and pride being taken from them, one by one with the memory of you mother receding more and more with every passing day until we think we have created you, for it may be possible after you have given us birth, fed us, and nurtured us, we have thought of a way of creating you while you are still there. This is the modern logic that belongs to nothing logical at all.

Strange though that whatever we dream about in this life is about you. We dream of flying in your wide skies, wandering among your endless trees, playing on your green meadows, letting your dandelions fly across the fields, drinking honey from your working bees, swim in your seas, see the world from your peaks, and even more that we imagine paradise to be a beautiful picture of you when you were still young and beautiful before we ravaged you and stole the beauty from your face and the innocence from your birds. We think you are paradise, but we prefer hell. Yet, we want you to return to us young when we grow old and helpless. We want you to rise from the ashes when we can burn you no more. What have we left you to live? Forgive us mother for smothering the life out of you and letting you breathe in our stench and the smoke of our pride and glory of exploiting you. All we have learned is how to consume you, but never to let you live. All the lessons we have learned from you, which we called our inventions, have taught us nothing as we understand nothing but to destroy, but we take credit for constructing the machinery of doom. We are such contradictory species. We have taken from you everything there is to live, but what have we left you to live? Nothing…


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