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The Earth forgives the Miner’s blast

That rends her crust and burns her skin;

The centuries bring Trees again,

And water, and the Fish therein.

The Deer at length forgives the Wolf

That tears his throat and drinks his blood;

His bones return to soil, and feed

The trees that flower and fruit and seed.

And underneath those shady trees

The Wolf will spend her restful days;

And then the Wolf in turn will pass,

And turn to grass the Deer will graze.

All Creatures know that some must die

That all the rest may take and eat;

Sooner or later, all transform

Their blood to wine, their flesh to meat.

But Man alone seeks Vengefulness.

And writes his abstract Laws on stone;

For this false Justice he has made,

He tortures limb and crushes bone.

Is this the image of a god?

My tooth for yours, your eye for mine?

Oh, if Revenge did move the stars

Instead of Love, they would not shine.

We dangle by a flimsy threat,

Our little lives are grains of sand:

The Cosmos is a tiny sphere

Held in the hollow of God’s hand.

Give up your anger and your spite,

And imitate the Deer, the Tree;

In sweet Forgiveness find your joy,

For it alone can set you free.

from The God's Gardeners Oral Hymnbook from Margaret Atwoods' Year of the Flood

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