Home > Uncategorized > José Santos Chocano: When a future explorer uncovers that rarest of things, a sword

José Santos Chocano: When a future explorer uncovers that rarest of things, a sword

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

José Santos Chocano
Archeology
Translated by Alice Stone Blackwell

Searching ‘mid Eastern ruins, groping slow,
When some explorer in our modern days
His hand upon a hidden treasure lays –
Gold idols heathens worshiped long ago –
Then with what eager interest aglow
The spirit of the Present backward strays
To that far age when priests raised hymns of praise
To monsters base, deformed, with foreheads low!

When our age too is dead, from tomb to tomb
Some new explorer, groping in the gloom,
Will search for what the ruins may afford.
How great his fear, how strange his thoughts will be
When, gleaming ‘mid the shadows, he shall see,
Rarest, most precious treasure trove, a sword!

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