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Homage to Robert Brasillach

Brasillach294 words

Comme le temps passe
Robert Brasillach

My homage is for the way you lived to die
That I a coward cannot emulate
You knew and wrote
Reason turns malevolent
after childhood disperses
And slumps into mature consideration
You could not have lived with yourself after failing.
So the leaden sentence was a gift
Better to die as you died
In the fluency and grace of certainty and light
Like poor Pucelle
Than grapple with compromise and penance
To win years in retirement and shame
Dying defiant
Sin pañuelo
The Castilian way.
Happiness a bagatelle
To a fascist
Dying well essential
Dying well redeems
The quintessence
Not delaying
Nor complaining
Nor dreading
Unbitter witness
The theatrical end
Many shrink and strive to safety
Delay complain and dread
And run away and hide
And sacrifice their pride for a
Doubtful grace
Not you a thief or cheat
Perhaps a busy undertaker
Coffins lined in neatly ordered rows
“The Bubonic East has
Broken out” –the facts
Every issue packed and bracketed
Childhood spoilt and spilled
Venom packed away in lofts or cellars
Then taken out and filmed
Nothing like that within you
So they held their tryst with you
Many shrink and strive to safety
They show their heads
Where they fear no censure
The dumb speak no treason
The illiterate pen no error
They called you traitor and acolyte to murder
But no betrayal was within you
Who mattered to you
Will wait and wait
Carlists on horseback
Ragamuffin Spain
The islands of childhood
You walk to them
Punctual formal and correct
In the fields of your Great Faith
Le paradis terrestre
Martyr’s etiquette at the shore
Running and returning
Your last breath faithful
Hear the sea roar

Comme le temps passe
Robert Brasillach


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