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BUNIN, Ivan

The Stone Idol

Dead grasses parched by heat. The steppeland, seared,
Runs on and merges with the sky's pale reaches.
Here is a horse's sun-bleached skull, and here
An idol with its flat, stone features.

How somnolent this face, how roughly hewn
This crude and massive torso! With a sense of
Half-conscious fear I meet its vapid grin,
So timid, so defenseless.

O thing of darkness born! A deity
Were you not once, revered and venerated?
It was not God that made us. It was we
That slavishly the gods created.