That al is lost for lak of stedfitstnesse.

This world contains such wretchedness,
    No line or fortress can withstand,
No mouth can praise nor passion bless.

Low men eat worse than dogs unless
    High are fed full. On every hand
This world contains such wretchedness.

Whole towns lie luckless like a mess
    Of fishes gasping on the sand.
No mouth can praise nor passion bless

What hands scratch blindly to express.
    Wrath rules, great nations grumble, and
This world contains such wretchedness.

Lead us all back to wilderness,
    Give us the common lot, the land
No mouth can praise nor passion bless,

And we will cry from our distress,
    Huddling like children in one band,
“This world contains such wretchedness,
No mouth can praise nor passion bless.”

A Message from the Editors

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 2 Number 9, on page 48
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