High in the Temple on a stone step I am sitting
The rain comes drizzling down
And through its haze
(And Haze of Time)
I see the grayish massive stones
That ages may have weathered down
But could not yet force into Oblivion

Depressive seems the solitude that holds this place
And I am waiting for more stones to fall
If Nature only would make haste to do its work
But it took centuries to make this as it is
And longer still by far will take
To change the scene entirely, make the walls fade away

Nothing does change the timeless course of Time itself
The toiling of the coolies seems so vain
Could they rebuild these palace? But why?
They are mere Symbols, and
Too close are linked the Temple and the Builder-King
That one would have a value by itself alone

But still ....
A hesitant sunray then appears
And changes all the World around
From my exalted place
The veil of Ages sweeps away: I see
What proud King Suryavarman mustr have seen
When from this very spot in early morning hours
He watched the fields, the solid walls
The palmtrees and the faraway woods
And knew that all beyond his view
His realm spread bounded only by the skies
That ever further were pushed back
By warriors of his inconvincible Might

He was the greatest Emperor,
the Conqueror of the World
A God almost revered by all

Gone was the terrifying feeling that of old
Had held him in an iron grasp
A deep and self contented mood pervades him now
When all around he looks
Unmovable they stand, the towers and the walls
Unmovable they will remain, for centuries on end
Connected with his Name and Fame
For who could bear to think of Namelesness ...

No, glories of the Present do not satisfy
His greedy Pride and his concern
Goes out to generations yet to come
Rather as peasant would he live and die
Forgotten soon without the certainty
That His Name would outlive all

And now, while the sun dries the stones
While the lizards emerge from their crevices
And the birds resume their songs
I slowly wander down and I feel content:
The part in me that is King Suryavarman
Won't make me hunt for something yet unknown
It's all relaxed now that His wish came true:
That ages later one would be impressed
If only by the ruins of His work.

BLO fecit 19561112-20010310