Morris Rosenfeld

(1862-1923 / Poland)

In The Garden Of The Dead - Poem by Morris Rosenfeld

A Dream

NIGHT is silent, the moon shines, and the
stars twinkle in the sky. The angel of dreams
carries me thro 1 death and life, and hear what
I dream in my slumber !

An old cemetery, scattered graves, buried happi-
ness and sorrows : there lie the good, there lie the
bad, there rest the slaves and the oppressors.

Here and there an old willow dreams, and a soft
wind rocks its branches ; I stand in anguish and
hear no words : the dead, the dead, they are

I stand and look at the tombstones around me,
at the hundreds of silent mounds; I see their
graves, and 't is evident graves of the poor, the
rich, and the pious.

A zephyr blows and passes over the little hills,
the leaves above them rock to and fro : ' Holy
peace be unto you in the graves, holy peace in your
little beds!'

I stand and shudder! The angel of dreams
speaks : ' Look to the South, and to the North !
Look there at the two quiet restingplaces ! Do
you understand their meaning? Tell me openly ! '

I look : how different the two graves are !
Whence comes here a difference? Why is this
mound here entirely bare, why are there flowers on
the other?

' Do you understand, O man, why flowers grow
there, while here there is sand and rocks?' the
angel of dreams asked me, and he assured me
that he alone knew the secret thereof, and no one

' Here, under this thickly grassed mound the
man who lies there has been a flayer : he tortured
the weak, and tormented bitterly the poor working

' He lived on the blood of the laborers, and tor-
mented the poor slaves, and that gave sustenance
to his limbs and brought forth fatness.

' And now, from the strength of the poor working
men, which he has devoured and used up, there
has grown up that little garden above him : those
are the flowers of the working man !

' They belong to the bare mound over yonder !
They are the laborer's blooms ! They have grown
from his marrow, from his blood, from his tears
which he shed in chains ! '

A wind softly blows over the graves, and the
words are heard in the garden: 'The beautiful
flowers, they are stolen flowers, they belong over
yonder, over yonder ! '

And stronger grows the wind that passes over
the mounds, and it howls in anger. Words,
terrible words are heard : ' You may thank for it
the pious, the pious 1 '

Suddenly the working man's grave clove open ;
the dead man thundered in anger : ' Not only the
flowers are mine, nay, even the boards of the coffin
are mine !

' And not only the boards of the coffin, you
shrouds, you too are mine ! He has it all through
my work, my poor work, oh, all and all is mine ! '

Then the dead one passed away in the air with
cries : ' You will pay for it yet ! ' and he clenched
his fist and threatened the world.

Frightened I awoke from my dream, but there
still resound in my ears the words : ' Not only
the flowers have been stolen, nay, all and all is
mine ! '

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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