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Hail! Loquacious band
of jolly, global interpreters,
language servants of assemblies,
listeners of all languages and accents,
serving diplomats, delegates, debaters.
(the bright ones and the … less bright.) Hail!

Hail, merry company of gracious speech improvers,
skillful phrase-turners, coolers of the over-heated,
steady clarifiers, swift bringers of light.
Interpreters, Hail!

Workers at the fountain-head,
Workers with the spoken word,
Your mouths start the keyboards clicking,
and the inky drums spinning,
and the telephones ringing,
and a cosmopolitan multitude
of hands and eves
typing, reporting, printing,
cabling, telegraphing, photographing
—the word,
the spoken word
that must vanish darkness,
that must bring light,
that must build understanding,
that must create harmony in diversity. Hail!

Because sometimes in the silence
of the council chamber of the soul
you have quietly interpreted
what the stars say to the night,
the waves of the sea to the shore.
the rains to the earth;
Because sometimes you have sensed
the deeper cries,
the universal longings, the voices of destiny
and the whispers of the cosmos to the soul;

Because sometimes in the inward stillness
you have interpreted
what trials mean to life,
struggles to growth,
problems to progress,
purity to joy,
justice to brotherhood,
fire to creativeness,
truth to freedom;

That’s why sometimes in the undertone
of your clear interpretations,
inevitably, unconsciously,
there sweeps a breadth of faith—
faith in a fellow man and Spirit,
communicating it
like roses share aroma,
the sea the odor of salt,
and the fresh-plowed field
the smell of happy earth.

Hail, fellow interpreters!
Cyranos of the advancing one world,
moving upon the peoples and the nations
like creative, jubilant, unpreventable dawn!

Reprinted with permission from the anthology Living in the Light Vol. 2, edited by Leonard Kenworthy ©1985.


Heberto Sein

Herberto Sein (1898–1977) lived in Mexico City, Mexico.

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