Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

“Character is destiny,” said Heraclitus. Trump’s character is bad, and so will be his destiny–because the king’s character is the source of the writing on the wall.

Old friend Hans Jungfreud, who lives across the ocean and shares our pain, has shared these items, beginning with his observations on our new royal family.

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Belshazzar
Henrich Heine, tr. by J. Reed

Towards midnight now the hours moved on,
In silent sleep lay Babylon.

Only up in the castle there
The vassals shout, the torches flare.

Up in the hall of the mighty King,
Belshazzar’s feast was in full swing.

His armoured men sat glittering round,
Goblet on goblet of wine they downed.

The goblets’ clinking, the liegemen’s cheer,
Are what the dour king likes to hear.

His face is flushed, his cheeks aglow,
The wine it makes his courage grow.

Blindly he’s drawn beyond all bounds,
Till a sinful challenge to God resounds.

He boasts and blasphemes against the Lord,
To the roaring cheers of his servile horde.

The King commands with an eye that burns,
A servant hastens and returns.

With golden vessels his back is piled;
Jehovah’s temple has been defiled.

And the King he seizes with hand of sin
A sacred vessel filled to the brim.

And he drains it hastily, drains it dry,
And with foaming mouth they hear him cry:

‘Jehovah, your power is past and gone —
I am the King of Babylon.’

But scarce the awful word was said,
The King was stricken with secret dread.

The raucous laughter silent falls,
It is suddenly still in the echoing halls.

And see! as if on the wall’s white space
A human hand began to trace.

Writing and writing across the stone
Letters of fire, wrote, and was gone.

The King sat still, with staring gaze,
His knees were water, ashen his face.

Fear chilled the vassals to the bone,
Fixed they sat and gave no tone.

Wise men came, but none was equipped
To read the sense of the fiery script.

Before the sun could rise again,
Belshazzar by his men was slain.

Ozymandias
Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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