â€śThe Perfect Worldâ€ť
God of lost souls, thou who are lost amongst the gods, hear me:
Gentle Destiny that watchest over us, mad, wandering spirits, hearÂ me: I dwell in the midst of a perfect race, I the most imperfect.
I, a human chaos, a nebula of confused elements, I move amongstÂ finished worldsâ€”peoples of complete laws and pure order, whoseÂ thoughts are assorted, whose dreams are arranged, and whose visionsÂ are enrolled and registered.
Their virtues, O God, are measured, their sins are weighed, andÂ even the countless things that pass in the dim twilight of neitherÂ sin nor virtue are recorded and catalogued.
Here days and night are divided into seasons of conduct and governedÂ by rules of blameless accuracy.
To eat, to drink, to sleep, to cover oneâ€™s nudity, and then to beÂ weary in due time.
To work, to play, to sing, to dance, and then to lie still whenÂ the clock strikes the hour.
To think thus, to feel thus much, and then to cease thinking andÂ feeling when a certain star rises above yonder horizon.
To rob a neighbour with a smile, to bestow gifts with a gracefulÂ wave of the hand, to praise prudently, to blame cautiously, toÂ destroy a sound with a word, to burn a body with a breath, and thenÂ to wash the hands when the dayâ€™s work is done.
To love according to an established order, to entertain oneâ€™s bestÂ self in a preconceived manner, to worship the gods becomingly,Â to intrigue the devils artfullyâ€”and then to forget all as thoughÂ memory were dead.
To fancy with a motive, to contemplate with consideration, to beÂ happy sweetly, to suffer noblyâ€”and then to empty the cup so thatÂ tomorrow may fill it again.
All these things, O God, are conceived with forethought, born withÂ determination, nursed with exactness, governed by rules, directedÂ by reason, and then slain and buried after a prescribed method.Â And even their silent graves that lie within the human soul areÂ marked and numbered.
It is a perfect world, a world of consummate excellence, a world ofÂ supreme wonders, the ripest fruit in Godâ€™s garden, the master-thoughtÂ of the universe.
But why should I be here, O God, I a green seed of unfulfilledÂ passion, a mad tempest that seeketh neither east nor west, aÂ bewildered fragment from a burnt planet?
Why am I here, O God of lost souls, thou who art lost amongst the gods?