Robert Bly

Bach’s B Minor Mass

The old Germans step inside Trinity Church.
The tenors, and sopranos, and altos, and the horns,
Say: "Do not be troubled. Death will come."

The basses reach into their long coats
And give bits of dark bread to the poor, saying,
"Eat, eat, in the shadow of Jethro's garden."

We all know about the old promise
That the orphans will be fed. The oboes say,
"Oh, that promise is too wonderful for us!" 

Don't worry about the sea. The tidal wave that
Wipes out whole cities is merely the wood thrush 
Lifting her wings to catch the morning sun.

We know that God gobbles up the Faithful.
The Harvesters on the sea floor are feeding 
All of those ruined by the depth of the sea.

Our oak will break and fall. Even after their tree
Has splintered and fallen in the night, once
Dawn has come, the birds can do nothing but sing.