THE TWO THAT WILL ALWAYS BE NEW
Fate and behavior and all that holds sway
do not cease amazing us, almost every day,
leaving us with a tail in the mud,
while the head, chopped off, is lying in blood.
They often saddle us with the mad and unkind
and deprive us of the more tolerant mind.
But the two that will always be new affect all,
continue to change, yet worsen nor fall.
Many foster their inherited fate,
however silly, and not seldom out of date,
clinging to the dream of the old night,
under the spell of an established might.
They learn of better things with a shock,
afraid of what the new day may have in stock.
But the two that will always be new will not wane,
and their integrity gives us hope again.
Vincent van Mechelen
[MP3 FILE, 1.3 MB,
WITH SYMMETRICAL BACKGROUND MUSIC]
The title and much of the first eight lines of this poem were inspired by
the work of the Arabic female poet al-Hansa from Medina, who lived 14 to 15
For more information in Deze Taal see
De twee altijd nieuwen,
a parallel version of this poem.