He was cheerful and happier than I,
for when on Spanish domes the arabesque
loosened and fell, he never questioned why,
or why people grew flabby and grotesque,
and did not sense the fabric's fading dye
or in his own tunic the broken thread,
the fountains of the city running dry,
he did not taste the filth inside his bread
or see the boys who knew his poems die
or view the burning library with dread.
Brave and clever, he failed to note the fact
that faith's no help, nor wit, courage, nor dagger,
that no philosophy will resurrect
a culture: collapsing is forever.