Works in the Herald 1933
Can it be I -- this Hindenburg, deferring
   To demagogues, catch phrases, lucky charms
And all this mummery about me stirring?
   Can it be I, lord of high feats of arms,
Smiling complancence on a rabble's blunders,
   Counting a mountebank amongst my peers --
I, who commanded with the voice of thunders?
   Ah, what a role betrays me with the years!

Can it be I -- condoning, cavallering
   This sorry paint-and-tinsel paladin.
This braggart upstart, raging, racketeering
   Like some cheap western gangster "muscling in,"
Apeing the arts in which I loomed a master:
   Acting with arms as children play with toys:
Mouthing fierce phrases, pregannt with disaster,
   To lure brief loyalty from brain-sick boys?

Can it be I who saw the vision splendid
   Shaping before these ageing eyes of mine,
When half a world, before my day had eneded,
   Hurtled its might against my stubborn Line?
The Line of Hindenburg!  the natons raging
   Before an avatar who reached the sky! ...
And now? -- A hapless figurehead, fast ageing,
   The mighty Hindenburg!  Can this be I?

Strange trick of Fate ... And yet, sometimes I wonder,
   While factions rage and puny tyrants bray,
If victory might yet be snatched for blunder
   Till gloriously dawned against The Day!
If -- To what end?  Youth seeks in other fashion
   It's destiny.  'Tis world-worn age that drools
Of glories gone ... Enough to veil compassion
   With weary tolerance.  Poor dupes!  Poor fools!

Herald, 20 March 1933, p8

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005