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Voices of the Heroic Spirits

mishimalastday [1]382 words

Now not all the waves
of the four seas are calm,
but in the land of Yamato,
where the sun rises,
the winds are sated, men devote themselves to pleasure.
Under the virtuous rule of His Majesty
peace reigns everywhere.
People exchange lazy and calm smiles,
business deals are done,
pacts are made with enemies;
people run, pushed on by foreign lucre.
Those who no longer want to fight
indulge in cowardly acts:
War, having become a nuisance,
now thrives in the shadows.
The trust between spouses, among friends, has vanished
deceitful democracy has its day,
the world is infested
with duplicitous, easygoing harmony.
Forces are diverted, bodies are held in contempt,
the young are strangled
by inertia, drugs, ambition,
and like sheep they advance in herds
towards mediocre desires
devoid of hope.
Pleasures, too, have lost
their flavour,
and loyalty its strength.
All souls are rotted from within,
and, preached as virtue by old men,
everywhere reigns a cowardly will
to self-assertion
and a contemptible security.
Truth is denied,
real emotions grow lifeless
hope no longer lightens
the steps of those who walk,
the laughter of imbeciles echoes everywhere,
every forehead bears the mark
of the death of the spirit.
Joy and pain fade quickly,
purity is for sale,
even lust is worn out:
people think only of money,
its value is greater than that
of human beings.
Even those who revolt
are looking in their own cunning way
for a tranquil abode,
the faces of those who are at the summit of fame,
swell obscenely.
A decadent beauty
infests the world,
only base truths are believed,
the number of cars increases
and inane speed shatters souls.
Enormous buildings are built,
but great causes collapse,
windows are lit by the neon lights
of unsatisfied desires,
morning after morning
the sun rises dim with smog,
feelings are dulled,
sharp corners are blunted.
Passionate and virile souls
abandon the earth,
dark blood stagnates in peace,
arid and dried up
no longer gushing forth in its purity.
Those who soared in the sky have broken wings
while termites mock
immortal glory.
In days like that,
why would His Majesty
become an ordinary man?
From Eirei no Koe (Voices of the Heroic Spirits), 1966, translated from an Italian edition by Giuliano Adriano Malvicini

http://democratia-mortui.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/yukio-mishima-voices-of-heroic-spirits.html [2]