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The listeners hear, in sympathy, a poem | 02-Aug-17

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the listeners hear, in sympathy, a poem
pronounced in Manx or heed a highland lay
in Cumbrian and sense the roll of sea
over the shoals; or feel the acid tinge
from tannic bogs burn in their mouths and in
their nostrils when an angel stands and speaks
Brythonic.  Songs sung in Ligurian
are rocky,  like the hills of Italy.
Before roads crisscrossed fields and aqueducts
rose up,  the sound of earth, of bristled boars
could be sensed in Etruscan.  Wyandot
suggested the slow growth of maize and squash,
rhythms of cold and warmth.  Nogumi voiced
the dark of rain forests lit with pale light
from fireflies.  Chinkook evoked the streams
of North America;  the lost Allentia tongue
the Argentine mountains and flat pampas.
Muisca voiced the rich Columbian soil.
A thousand more, erased  from earth, live here,
in this glum place, this encampment, outside
the streets and gold, the city built foursquare.

The tolerant eye of God, who spoke the word
and it was so, sees and is moved and feels
that he should tolerably feel their grief.
Sometimes he comes to join their gathering
and hear their lament for the languages
reduced to dust—and shares it, since he knows
He will not ever hear His praise again
sung out in Gothic, Aramaic, or
Biloxi or in Ancient Nubian.

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