A complex matter

A complex matter (orig.: Eugen Roth, Verwickelte Geschichte)

A man will sometimes groundlessly
Believe his fellow man to be
A wretched swine, and then remain
Forever true to his disdain.
And likewise groundlessly, he’ll find
Another charming, good and kind,
And if not proven otherwise,
Will love him ’til the day he dies.
By everybody else, however
(And here’s where things get really clever)
The man, by will of fate divine,
Is taken for a wretched swine,
In spite of all he may have done
To not have been perceived as one.
And in the whole world, only he
Whom our man thinks a swine to be,
Thinks he, in turn, is not. And why?
‘Cause life’s a bitch, and then you die.


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