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goodbye matilija 109
So goes one prophecy
Fitting in its grandeur,
And true, for all of me --
A various multitude
Of the bacteria
Will rule the biosphere,
Their center everywhere,
Humble inheritors
Guarding the true and good;
And all we've understood
Of all that has most mattered,
And, understood, have spoken
In music, paint, words, stone,
In number, and the rest
Till it all stood complete
As nearly as could be --
And perishable, though
After each overthrow
Learned all over again
And more still -- all this broken
In ultimate defeat,
The litter of it scattered
On earth that spinning sleeps
On her soft axle, while
She paces even, and bears
Thee soft with the smooth air
(that's as she crossed
Our gaze in Paradise Lost)....
For us, though, let's not grieve --
Nor turn in treachery
On our own kind, at heart
Finding life hard to leave,
Finding it sweet to be
Even if in prospect
Only, for the most part,
As certain sages claim,