In vain the reins are jerking,
the whip is striking air,
it won’t hit you where you’re lurking,
in vain the reins are jerking,
God’s no longer there.
God knows where he is, we’ll never learn;
to fight for something, he went below;
for wind to make the windmills turn,
he left his heaven far above.
He’s been hammered into love.
He might come back from his retreats;
right now, he’s nowhere near a steeple.
Look, the bailiffs, out of their minds,
are going down the ungodly streets
18 June 1940
Translated by Lyn Coffin and Leda Pugh