Once there was a hill between two towns--
Two ugly towns, two bickering towns.
Their priests were devils, mayors clowns,
And wandered they about with frowns
In switched-round suits and ragged gowns.
Oh hey ho! They never know,
Where the sun tomorrow goes!
They are pretty, they are slow,
These citizens between that little down!
And each town thought their own side was the best—
In wisdom best, in beauty best,
And each by God above was blest,
But not the other, east or west.
And neither saw the other, lest--
Oh what shame! If either name
Was thought the better or the same
In a townsman's eyes, insane,
Who stood upon that little mountain's crest!
So, ventured I one day up there alone—
Perhaps not in my heart alone—
Through meadows green and teeth of stone,
To see the side I'd never known,
And o'er the crest the sunset shone.
Oh pretty sun! On either side
You shine the same when day has died,
Had all those grim-faced people lied?
And so I said and muttered then a groan.
Then up atop that pretty crest I stood
In thought I stood, with chills I stood,
Though sky was stained with heaven's blood
Though rain began to fall and mud
Spilled at my feet in murky floods.
Oh, let it fall! I thought with peace,
I would not have it ever cease
For in my heart came gentle ease,
And calm my previous disheartened mood.
They were the same, in both their size and shape,
In field and mountain, all the shapes
Were just the same in valley's nape
Each house, each face, each window drape
All were the same and lay in sleep.
Oh silly man! Why rot in fear,
Why waste your eyes on pointless tears
Of enmity uncalled for here
When friendship you, with smiles glad, could take?