by: August Strindberg (1849-1912)
- OWN to the sand-covered earth.
- Straw from the harvested fields soiled our feet;
- Dust from the high-roads,
- Smoke from the cities,
- Foul-smelling breaths,
- Fumes from cellars and kitchens,
- All we endured.
- Then to the open sea we fled,
- Filling our lungs with air,
- Shaking our wings,
- And laving our feet.
- Indra, Lord of the Heavens,
- Hear us!
- Hear our sighing!
- Unclean is the earth;
- Evil is life;
- Neither good nor bad
- Can men be deemed.
- As they can, they live,
- One day at a time.
- Sons of dust, through dust they journey;
- Born out of dust, to dust they return.
- Given they were, for trudging,
- Feet, not wings for flying.
- Dusty they grow--
- Lies the fault then with them,
- Or with Thee?
POEMS BY AUGUST STRINDBERG
"Indra" is reprinted from
Plays by August Strindberg. Trans. Edwin Björkman.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912.