A feeling of harassed sympathy arose in him, a compassion that pertained as much to Augustus as to the mass of humanity, to the ruler as well as the ruled, and it was accompanied by a responsibility no less importunate, a truly unbearable one which he himself could not account for beyond knowing that it bore small resemblance to the burden which Caesar had taken upon himself, rather that it was a responsibility of quite another kind; for this seething, befuddled, unrecognized evil was beyond the reach of every governmental enterprise, beyond reach of every earthly force however great, beyond reach, perhaps, of the gods themselves, and no human outcry sufficed to overwhelm it except, it may be, that small voice of the soul, called song, which while it makes known the evil, announces also the waking of salvation, knowledge-aware, knowledge-fraught, knowledge-persuading, the provenance of every true song.

The Death of Virgil by Hermann Brock p 22-3 (Penguin, 2000)



B'art Homme said...

Far out, great...

I had a stunning revelation a few years back when a friend sang me a song I had only the glimmering of a memory of...

"Foundary work man
life's labours have seen
filth and poverty
too late to redeem

Oh why don't you break away
you weren't born to obey
come to the country
be rained on"

I wrote it when I was 17 in Upper Hutt!

Guillaume Cingal said...

Isn't it Broch, rather ? Who's the translator ?

Martin Edmond said...

yes, Broch. translated by Jean Starr Untermeyer.