Whenever I gaze out on Prague -- and I do so constantly and always with bated breath because I love her -- I turn my mind to God wherever he may be, beyond the starry mists or just behind that moth-eaten screen, to thank him for granting that magnificent setting to me to live in. To me and to my joys and carefree loves, to me and to my tears without weeping when the loves departed, and to my more-than-bitter grief when even my verses could not weep. I love her fire-charred walls to which we clung during the war so as to hold out. I would not change them for anything in the world. Not even for others. not even if the Eiffel Tower rose between them and the Seine flowed sadly past, not even for all the gardens of paradise full of flowers. When I shall die -- and this will be quite soon -- I shall still carry on my heart this city's destiny. And mercilessly, just as Marsyas, let anyone be flayed alive who lays hands on this city, no matter who he is. No matter how sweetly he plays on his flute.