when the two-footed
Mammal, being someways one of the nobler animals, regains
The dignity of room, the value of rareness
Spengler was wrong: the world has become the West.
Japan has bowed out now; in China they buy art, drink wine,
play late Rachmaninov, groom themselves for decline
in Prada or Bulgari, wonder which limousines are best.
Our hard-won vision fades: dead faiths are reborn;
circuses rule the airwaves; Darwin makes way.
While bearded prophets prognosticate, announce their day,
their raw congregations pray and exchange their porn.
Time to turn out the lights. Too late to rely
on gold, ammunition, canned food; to make plans to revive
old powers we have lost: they are lost. Our last wildness gone,
we drift to our ending.
Lovely world, unready to die
slow death by two billion iPhones, you can still contrive
your disabling cataclysm. Some will survive. Bring it on.
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 29 September 2012