Vasily Polenov (1844–1927), “Caesar’s Joy”
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

They know not where they come from, why
The sentient who live must die
Or even though we all expire
Dissimilar are saint and liar

Why is there morality?
“The weak are slaves, the strong go free”
The script for that seems universal
And needs no coaching or rehearsal

Yet they see the raw result:
Faithful love is not a cult
But everlasting and eternal
Even in the winter, vernal

There is a God, the wise Creator
And you shall know it, now or later