In darkened forest halls where bird-songs long had slept,
   Where insect drones will mar the silence nevermore,
The hermit lay beneath a dying elm and wept,
   And knew that Man had played the final game of war.

In endless silent cities he had walked alone,
   And heard the eerie echoes of his hollow calls
Rebound in mocking laughs from crumbling cliffs of stone,
   Then fade to let deep silence cloak the granite walls.

The gold he could not spend and food he could not eat
   Lay piled in pyre-like heaps in picture-windowed vaults,
While useless precious gems were ground beneath his feet
   In sad contempt for things which only Man exalts.

With fleeting hope he'd searched the barren countryside
   Past ugly fields of tainted corn and fallow soil.
His shouts had reached his ears alone, then slowly died.
   No more would Earth be moist from sweat of human toil.

And now he wept beneath the elm's decaying mast;
   Wept not for joy at nearing Death's delayed release,
But wept because he knew his death would be the last -
   That life on Earth would, with his final weepings, cease.

Written circa 1962 by David L Brungart - © Copyright