Thursday, January 2, 2014

Trees in the Snow (Caspar David Friedrich)


We cut down dead oaks to reopen the old mine,
One hundred years abandoned, a collapsed shaft,
And no promise the old diggers hadn't been good
At their work and found every nugget worth a dime.
My partner wasn't afraid of the dark and laughed
When I said, you go first beneath the earthen hood.
That was twenty years ago and old Caspar died
Before a single shovel was turned. "Christ!" he cried,
And, running from the shadows, impaled his right eye
On a six inch nail jutting from a rotting beam.
Having pulled him from the ruin, lantern held high,
I entered the darkness to see what he had seen.
There was a mirror there, neither real nor a dream.
I saw my self -- or at least myself if I'd been
A few hundred years old -- pluck out my eye and scream.

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