"We know that everything is for the best
in this, the best of all possible worlds.
The Lord's perfect creation has unfurled ‒
evil exists to put us to the test."
Voltaire just laughs ‒ "My friend, you surely jest!
The fractured earth, the boiling seas that hurled
their rage upon this European pearl
disprove the 'Optimism' you've expressed."
Through Lisbon's broken bones and tumbling spires ‒
a devastation none can understand ‒
through bedlam, flood and all-consuming fires,
Herr Leibniz strolls with Pangloss, hand in hand,
to seek the views of those still left alive
on All Saints' Day in seventeen fifty-five.