A Man Feared That He Might Find An Assassin;

A man feared that he might find an assassin;
Another that he might find a victim.
One was more wise than the other.

by Stephen Crane.

On The Grave Of A Young Cavalry Officer Killed In The Valley Of Virginia

Beauty and youth, with manners sweet, and
friends--
Gold, yet a mind not unenriched had he
Whom here low violets veil from eyes.
But all these gifts transcended be:
His happier fortune in this mound you see.

by Herman Melville.

Who killed John Keats?
'I,' says the Quarterly,
So savage and Tartarly;
''Twas one of my feats.'

Who shot the arrow?
'The poet-priest Milman
(So ready to kill man),
Or Southey or Barrow.

by George Gordon Byron.

Abraham To Kill Him

Abraham to kill him
Was distinctly told—
Isaac was an Urchin—
Abraham was old—

Not a hesitation—
Abraham complied—
Flattered by Obeisance
Tyranny demurred—

Isaac—to his children
Lived to tell the tale—
Moral—with a mastiff
Manners may prevail.

by Emily Dickinson.

Kill Your Balm—and Its Odors Bless You

238

Kill your Balm—and its Odors bless you—
Bare your Jessamine—to the storm—
And she will fling her maddest perfume—
Haply—your Summer night to Charm—

Stab the Bird—that built in your bosom—
Oh, could you catch her last Refrain—
Bubble! "forgive"—"Some better"—Bubble!
"Carol for Him—when I am gone"!

by Emily Dickinson.

Killed In Action

Your ' Youth ' has fallen from its shelf,
And you have fallen, you yourself.
They knocked a soldier on the head,
I mourn the poet who fell dead.
And yet I think it was by chance,
By oversight you died in France.
You were so poor an outward man,
So small against your spirit's span,
That Nature, being tired awhile,
Saw but your outward human pile;
And Nature, who would never let
A sun with light still in it set,
Before you even reached your sky,
In inadvertence let you die.

by Isaac Rosenberg.

At The War Office, London (Affixing The Lists Of Killed And Wounded: December, 1899)

I

Last year I called this world of gain-givings
The darkest thinkable, and questioned sadly
If my own land could heave its pulse less gladly,
So charged it seemed with circumstance whence springs
   The tragedy of things.

II

Yet at that censured time no heart was rent
Or feature blanched of parent, wife, or daughter
By hourly blazoned sheets of listed slaughter;
Death waited Nature's wont; Peace smiled unshent
   From Ind to Occident.

by Thomas Hardy.

So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
Which sucks two souls, and vapors both away,
Turn thou ghost that way, and let me turn this,
And let our selves benight our happiest day,
We ask none leave to love; nor will we owe
Any, so cheap a death, as saying, Go;
Go; and if that word have not quite kil'd thee,
Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Oh, if it have, let my word work on me,
And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
Being double dead, going, and bidding, go.

by John Donne.

More Poets Yet!

'More Poets yet!'-I hear him say,
Arming his heavy hand to slay;-
'Despite my skill and 'swashing blow,'
They seem to sprout where'er I go;-
I killed a host but yesterday!'

Slash on, O Hercules! You may.
Your task's, at best, a Hydra-fray;
And though you cut, not less will grow
More Poets yet!

Too arrogant! For who shall stay
The first blind motions of the May?
Who shall out-blot the morning glow?-
Or stem the full heart's overflow?
Who? There will rise, till Time decay,
More Poets yet!

by Henry Austin Dobson.

I MURDER hate by flood or field,
Tho' glory's name may screen us;
In wars at home I'll spend my blood—
Life-giving wars of Venus.
The deities that I adore
Are social Peace and Plenty;
I'm better pleas'd to make one more,
Than be the death of twenty.


I would not die like Socrates,
For all the fuss of Plato;
Nor would I with Leonidas,
Nor yet would I with Cato:
The zealots of the Church and State
Shall ne'er my mortal foes be;
But let me have bold Zimri's fate,
Within the arms of Cozbi!

by Robert Burns.

Killed In Action

MY father lived his three-score years; my son lived twenty-two;
One looked long back on work well done, and one had all to do--
Yet which the better served his world, I know not, nor do you!

Life taught my father all her lore till he grew wise and gray,
She did but whisper to my son before she turned away--
Yet which her deepest secret held only they two might say.

Peace brought my father restful days, with love and fame for wage;
War gave my son an unmarked grave and an unwritten page--
Who shall declare which gift conveyed the greater heritage?

by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay.

I killed them, but they would not die.
Yea! all the day and all the night
For them I could not rest or sleep,
Nor guard from them nor hide in flight.

Then in my agony I turned
And made my hands red in their gore.
In vain - for faster than I slew
They rose more cruel than before.

I killed and killed with slaughter mad;
I killed till all my strength was gone.
And still they rose to torture me,
For Devils only die in fun.

I used to think the Devil hid
In women’s smiles and wine’s carouse.
I called him Satan, Balzebub.
But now I call him, dirty louse.

by Isaac Rosenberg.

On Certain Elizabethan Revivals

O RUFF-EMBASTIONED vast Elizabeth,
Bush to these bushel-bellied casks of wine,
Home-growth, 'tis true, but rank as turpentine—
What would we with such skittle-plays at death?
Say, must we watch these brawlers' brandished lathe,
Or to their reeking wit our ears incline,
Because all Castaly flowed crystalline
In gentle Shakspeare's modulated breath?
What! must our drama with the rat-pit vie,
Nor the scene close while one is left to kill?
Shall this be poetry? And thou—thou man
Of blood, thou cannibalic Caliban,
What shall be said of thee? A poet?—Fie!
“An honourable murderer, if you will.”

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The Tables Turned

Over the man the street car ran,
And the driver did never grin.
'O killer of men, pray tell me when
Your laughter means to begin.

'Ten years to a day I've observed you slay,
And I never have missed before
Your jubilant peals as your crunching wheels
Were spattered with human gore.

'Why is it, my boy, that you smother your joy,
And why do you make no sign
Of the merry mind that is dancing behind
A solemner face than mine?'

The driver replied: 'I would laugh till I cried
If I had bisected you;
But I'd like to explain, if I can for the pain,
'T is myself that I've cut in two.'

by Ambrose Bierce.

Sonnet L: As In Some Countries

As in some countries far remote from hence
The wretched creature destined to die,
Having the judgement due to his offence,
By surgeons begg'd, their art on him to try,
Which, on the living, work without remorse,
First make incision on each mastering vein,
Then staunch the bleeding, then trasnpierce the corse,
And with their balms recure the wounds again,
Then poison and with physic him restore;
Not that they fear the hopeless man to kill,
But their experience to increase the more;
Ev'n so my mistress works upon my ill,
By curing me and killing me each hour,
Only to show her beauty's sovereign power.

by Michael Drayton.

Sonnet 68: Stella, The Only Planet

Stella, the only planet of my light,
Light of my life, and life of my desire,
Chief good, whereto my hope doth only aspire,
World of my wealth, and heav'n of my delight:

Why dost thou spend the treasure of thy sprite,
With voice more fit to wed Amphion's lyre,
Seeking to quench in me the noble fire
Fed by thy worth, and kindled by thy sight?

And all in vain, for while thy breath most sweet,
With choicest words, thy words with reasons rare,
Thy reasons firmly set on Virtue's feet,

Labor to kill in me this killing care:
Oh, think I then, what paradise of joy
It is, so fair a Virtue to enjoy.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

THE eagles gather on the place of death
So thick the ground is spotted with their wings,
The air is tainted with the noisome breath
The wind from off the field of slaughter brings;
Alas! no mourners weep them for the slain,
But all unburied lies the naked soul;
The whitening bones of thousands strew the plain,
Yet none can now the pestilence control;
The eagles gathering on the carcase feed,
In every heart behold their half-formed prey;
The battened wills beneath their talons bleed,
Their iron beaks without remorse must slay;
Till by the sun no more the place is seen,
Where they who worshipped idol gods have been.

by Jones Very.

Sonnet 139: O, Call Not Me To Justify The Wrong

O, call not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart
Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue;
Use power with power, and slay me not by art.
Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere, but in my sight,
Dear heart forbear to glance thine eye aside;
What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might
Is more than my o'erpressed defence can bide?
Let me excuse thee: "Ah, my love well knows,
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries."
Yet do not so; but since I am near slain,
Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 48: Soul's Joy, Bend Not

Soul's joy, bend not those morning stars from me,
Where Virtue is made strong by Beauty's might,
Where Love is chasteness, Pain doth learn delight,
And Humbleness grows one with Majesty.

Whatever may ensue, oh let me be
Copartner of the riches of that sight:
Let not mine eyes be hell-driv'n from that light:
Oh look, oh shine, oh let me die and see.

For though I oft myself of them bemoan,
That though my heart their beamy darts be gone,
Whose cureless wounds ev'n now most freshly bleed:

Yet since my death-wound is already got,
Dear killer, spare not thy sweet cruel shot:
A kind of grace it is to kill with speed.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

The Man He Killed

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have set us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

I shot him dead because--
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although

He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like--just as I--
Was out of work--had sold his traps--
No other reason why.

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is,
Or help to half a crown.

by Thomas Hardy.

O, call not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;
Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue;
Use power with power and slay me not by art.
Tell me thou lovest elsewhere, but in my sight,
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside:
What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might
Is more than my o'er-press'd defense can bide?
Let me excuse thee: ah! my love well knows
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
Yet do not so; but since I am near slain,
Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.

by William Shakespeare.

The Idler’s Calendar. Twelve Sonnets For The Months. January

COVER SHOOTING

The week at Whinwood next to Christmas week.
Six guns, no more, but all good men and true,
Of the clean--visaged sort, with ruddy cheek
Which knows not care. Light--hearted Montagu
At the cover's end, as down the wind they flew,
Has stopped his score of pheasants, every beak,
Without more thought of Juliet than of you;
And still I hear his loud--mouthed Purdeys speak.

Tybalt and Paris, with a bet on hand,
Have fired at the same woodcock. ``Truce,'' say I,
``To civil jars.'' For look, as by command,
Bunch following bunch, a hundred pheasants fly.
Now battle, murder, death on every side!
Right, left, left, right, we pile up agony,
Till night stops all. Then home in chastened pride,
With aching heads, our slaughter satisfied.

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Under the parabola of a ball,
a child turning into a man,
I looked into the air too long.
The ball fell in my hand, it sang
in the closed fist: Open Open
Behold a gift designed to kill.

Now in my dial of glass appears
the soldier who is going to die.
He smiles, and moves about in ways
his mother knows, habits of his.
The wires touch his face: I cry
NOW. Death, like a familiar, hears

And look, has made a man of dust
of a man of flesh. This sorcery
I do. Being damned, I am amused
to see the centre of love diffused
and the wave of love travel into vacancy.
How easy it is to make a ghost.

The weightless mosquito touches
her tiny shadow on the stone,
and with how like, how infinite
a lightness, man and shadow meet.
They fuse. A shadow is a man
when the mosquito death approaches

by Keith Douglas.

On King William's Happy Deliverance From The Intended Assassination

The youth whose fortune the vast globe obey'd,
Finding his royal enemy betray'd
And in his chariot by vile hands opprest,
With noble pity and just rage posses't,
Wept at the fall of so sublime a state
And with the traitor's death reveng'd the fate
Of monarchy profane; so acted too
The generous Caesar when the Roman knew
A coward king had treacherously slain
One he scarce foil'd on the Pharsalian plain.
The doom of his fam'd rival he bemoan'd
And the base author of the crime dethron'd.
So virtuous was the actions of the great,
Far from the guilty acts of desperate hate:
They knew no foe, but in the open field,
And to their cause and to their gods appeal'd.

So William acts, and if his rivals dare
Dispute his right by arms, he'll meet them there
Where Jove, as once on Ida, holds the scale
And lets the good, the just, the brave prevail.

by Charles Sackville.

Don'T Tease The Lion

If you saw a lion
Not within a cage,
Would you tease and fret him
Till he roared in rage?
Would you tempt his anger
And his savage power,
Knowing he could crush you,
Kill you, and devour?


Yet I know some people
Who, morn and noon and night,
Tease and fret with bitters
The lion-appetite.
It matters not what ails them,
For each disease and all
They seem to think there's healing
In demon alcohol.


So they fret the lion,
And anger him, until,
In his awful power,
He springs up to kill.
Let me warn you, children,
From this foolish way.
Do not tease the lion,
Nor tempt him any day.


Don't believe the doctors
If they say you need
Any wines or ciders;
For there are, indeed,
Better cures, and safer,
Than these drinks, that slay
More than a hundred people
Without fail each day.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The Brewer's Dog

The brewer's dog is abroad, boys,
Be careful where you stray,
His teeth are coated with poison,
And he's on the watch for prey.
The brewery is his kennel,
But he lurks on every hand,
And he seeks for easy victims
The children of the land.


His eyes gleam through the windows
Of the gay saloon at night,
And in many a first-class 'drug-store'
He is hiding out of sight.
Be careful where you enter,
And, if you smell his breath,
Flee as you would from a viper,
For its fumes are the fumes of death.


O boys! would you kill the bloodhound?
Would you slay the snarling whelp?
I know that you can do it
If every one will help.
You must make a solemn promise
To drink no ale or beer,
And soon the feeble death-wail
Of the brewer's dog we'll hear.
For, if all keep the promise,
You can starve him out, I know;
But, if boys and men keep drinking,
The dog will thrive and grow.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

When I am dead, and doctors know not why,
And my friends' curiosity
Will have me cut up to survey each part,—
When they shall find your picture in my heart,
You think a sudden damp of love
Will through all their senses move,
And work on them as me, and so prefer
Your murder to the name of massacre.

Poor victories! But if you dare be brave,
And pleasure in your conquest have,
First kill th' enormous giant, your Disdain,
And let th' enchantress Honour next be slain,
And like a Goth and Vandal rise,
Deface records and histories
Of your own arts and triumphs over men,
And, without such advantage, kill me then.

For I could muster up as well as you
My giants, and my witches too,
Which are vast Constancy and Secretness;
But these I neither look for nor profess.
Kill me as woman, let me die
As a mere man; do you but try
Your passive valour, and you shall find then,
Naked you have odds enough of any man.

by John Donne.

Ballade Of A Special Edition

He comes; I hear him up the street--
Bird of ill omen, flapping wide
The pinion of a printed sheet,
His hoarse note scares the eventide.
Of slaughter, theft, and suicide
He is the herald and the friend;
Now he vociferates with pride--
A double murder in Mile End!

A hanging to his soul is sweet;
His gloating fancy's fain to bide
Where human-freighted vessels meet,
And misdirected trains collide.
With Shocking Accidents supplied,
He tramps the town from end to end.
How often have we heard it cried--
A double murder in Mile End.

War loves he; victory or defeat,
So there be loss on either side.
His tale of horrors incomplete,
Imagination's aid is tried.
Since no distinguished man has died,
And since the Fates, relenting, send
No great catastrophe, he's spied
This double murder in Mile End.

Fiend, get thee gone! no more repeat
Those sounds which do mine ears offend.
It is apocryphal, you cheat,
Your double murder in Mile End.

by Amy Levy.

Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them,
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom --
A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die.
Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

by Stephen Crane.

Chant Before Battle

EVER since man was man a Fiend has stood
Outside his House of Good,—
War, with his terrible toys, that win men's hearts
To follow murderous arts.
His spurs, death-won, are but of little use,
Except as old refuse
Of Life; to hang and testify with rust
Of deeds, long one with dust.
A rotting fungus on a log, a tree,
A toiling worm, or bee,
Serves God's high purpose here on Earth to build
More than War's maimed and killed.
The Hebetude of asses, following still
Some Emperor's will to kill,
Is that of men who give their lives — for what? —
The privilege to be shot!
Grant men more vision, Lord! to read thy words,
That are not guns and swords,
But trees and flowers, lovely forms of Earth,
And all fair things of worth.
So he may rise above the brute and snake,
And of his reason make
A world befitting, as thou hast designed,
His greater soul and mind!
So he may rid himself of worm and beast,
And sit with Love at feast,
And make him worthy to be named thy son,
As He, thy Holy One! Amen.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The League Of Youth

There was never a hint, when I was a boy,
That the joy of the wilds might bring man joy;
Never a thought that a wild thing slain
Might wake in the slayer pain for pain.
We were savages all, with the hunter's thrill
In the lure of the chase and the lust of the kill;
And the bud on the bough, and the bird in the nest
Were beautiful things to be possessed.

But a worthier thing comes now to the earth,
Since pity in minds of the young has birth.
'Tis the glorious gift, that wisdom brings,
Of knowing and loving all lovely things:
Of loving and sharing with all the boon
Of the glad free things that may teach us soon
The gift of living, as glad and free,
As bird and blossom in Arcady.

'Oh, youth is heedless,' the elders say,
'Youth is callous and cruel in play,'
Say they, forgetting that all youth heeds
Comes down through lauding of elders' deeds.
But the law of savage - of fang and claw
Gives what was in the end to a worthier law;
And man, emerging from ways uncouth,
Sees visions anew in the League of Youth.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

Lord, shed thy light upon his desert path,
And gild his branded brow, that no man spill
His forfeit life to balk thy holy will
That spares him for the ripening of wrath.

Already, lo! the red sign is descried,
To trembling jurors visibly revealed:
The prison doors obediently yield,
The baffled hangman flings the cord aside.

Powell, the brother's blood that marks your trail
Hark, how it cries against you from the ground,
Like the far baying of the tireless hound.
Faith! to your ear it is no nightingale.

What signifies the date upon a stone?
To-morrow you shall die if not to-day.
What matter when the Avenger choose to slay
Or soon or late the Devil gets his own.

Thenceforth through all eternity you'll hold
No one advantage of the later death.
Though you had granted Ralph another breath
Would _he_ to-day less silent lie and cold?

Earth cares not, curst assassin, when you die;
You never will be readier than now.
Wear, in God's name, that mark upon your brow,
And keep the life you purchased with a lie!

by Ambrose Bierce.

COME then, let us at least know what's the truth.
Let us not blink our eyes and say
We did not understand; old age or youth
Benumbed our sense or stole our sight away.
It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Wages are the worth of Work.
No; they are what the Employer wills to spare
To let the Employee sheer starvation shirk.
They're the life-pittance Competition leaves,
The least for which brother'll slay brother.
He who the fruits of this hell-strife receives,
He is a thief, an assassin, and none other.
It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Rent's the interest on just gains.
Rent's the thumb-screw that makes the worker share
With him who worked not the produce of his pains.
Rent's the wise tax the human tape-worm knows.
The fat he takes; the life-lean leaves.
The holy Landlord is, as we suppose,
Just this — the model of assassin-thieves!
What is the trick the Rich-man, then, contrives?
How play my lords their brilliant rôles? —
They live on the plunder of our toiling lives,
The degradation of our bodies and souls!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deny'st me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled be;
Thou knowest that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead.
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pampered, swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, we are met
And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and sayest that thou
Find'st not thyself, nor me, the weaker now.
'Tis true, then learn how false fears be;
Just so much honor, when thou yieldst to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

by John Donne.

Home, for my heart still calls me;
Home, through the danger zone;
Home, whatever befalls me,
I will sail again to my own!

Wolves of the sea are hiding
Closely along the way,
Under the water biding
Their moment to rend and slay.

Black is the eagle that brands them,
Black are their hearts as the night,
Black is the hate that sends them
To murder but not to fight.

Flower of the German Culture,
Boast of the Kaiser's Marine,
Choose for your emblem the vulture,
Cowardly, cruel, obscene!

Forth from her sheltered haven
Our peaceful ship glides slow,
Noiseless in flight as a raven,
Gray as a hoodie crow.

She doubles and turns in her bearing,
Like a twisting plover she goes;
The way of her westward faring
Only the captain knows.

In a lonely bay concealing
She lingers for days, and slips
At dusk from her covert, stealing
Thro' channels feared by the ships.

Brave are the men, and steady,
Who guide her over the deep,--
British mariners, ready
To face the sea-wolf's leap.

Lord of the winds and waters,
Bring our ship to her mark,
Safe from this game of hide-and-seek
With murderers in the dark!

by Henry Van Dyke.

Ballade Of Summer's Sleep

Sweet summer is gone; they have laid her away-
The last sad hours that were touched with her grace-
In the hush where the ghosts of the dead flowers play;
The sleep that is sweet of her slumbering space
Let not a sight or a sound erase
Of the woe that hath fallen on all the lands:
Gather, ye dreams, to her sunny face,
Shadow her head with your golden hands.

The woods that are golden and red for a day
Girdle the hills in a jewelled case,
Like a girl's strange mirth, ere the quick death slay
The beautiful life that he hath in chase.
Darker and darker the shadows pace
Out of the north to the southern sands,
Ushers bearing the winter's mace:
Keep them away with your woven hands.

The yellow light lies on the wide wastes gray,
More bitter and cold than the winds that race,
From the skirts of the autumn, tearing away,
This way and that way, the woodland lace.
In the autumn's cheek is a hectic trace;
Behind her the ghost of the winter stands;
Sweet summer will moan in her soft gray place:
Mantle her head with your glowing hands.

Envoi.

Till the slayer be slain and the spring displace
The might of his arms with her rose-crowned bands,
Let her heart not gather a dream that is base:
Shadow her head with your golden hands.

by Archibald Lampman.

Night Watch, The

I
At Bethlehem
Shepherds, what of the night?
‘Dark, dark and cold;
Snow upon field and fold,
Wind that is fierce and wild!
But over the wastes of white,
Far in the Eest, and far,
Rises a strange new Star;
Its lusters rest and shine
On the roof of the stabled Kine,
Where, or a dream beguiled,
Was the cry of a new-born child.’
II
After Calvary
Watchers, what of the night?
‘Well! well! all’s well!
Behold God’s miracle
Of Life and Light!
Lo, He the Crucified,
He, for our sins who died,
Jesus, the Holy Slain,
Lives, lives again!
In the dawn’s first glow that gleamed
We have seen Him and adored,
Our Savior, King and Lord!
He has broken the tomb’s dread prison-
Christ is risen! Christ is risen! -
And the World is redeemed-redeemed! ’

III
After Nineteen Centuries
Brothers, what of the night?
‘Ah! who can say?
We seek, we watch, we pray,
But where is the light?
Still here the sin and shame-
The poor and weak down-trod;
The wrongs that have no name,
The good by evil slain!
The blood-soaked battle-sod,
The cries of “Kill! ” and “Slay! ”-
The pain, the tears, the cries. . .
O thou White Son of God,
Was all the lesson vain-
In vain the Sacrifice? ’

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Watch the white dawn gleam,
To the thunder of hidden guns.
I hear the hot shells scream
Through skies as sweet as a dream
Where the silver dawn-break runs.
And stabbing of light
Scorches the virginal white.
But I feel in my being the old, high, sanctified thrill,
And I thank the gods that the dawn is beautiful still.

From death that hurtles by
I crouch in the trench day-long,
But up to a cloudless sky
From the ground where our dead men lie
A brown lark soars in song.
Through the tortured air,
Rent by the shrapnel's flare,
Over the troubleless dead he carols his fill,
And I thank the gods that the birds are beautiful still.

Where the parapet is low
And level with the eye
Poppies and cornflowers glow
And the corn sways to and fro
In a pattern against the sky.
The gold stalks hide
Bodies of men who died
Charging at dawn through the dew to be killed or to kill.
I thank the gods that the flowers are beautiful still.

When night falls dark we creep
In silence to our dead.
We dig a few feet deep
And leave them there to sleep -
But blood at night is red,
Yea, even at night,
And a dead man's face is white.
And I dry my hands, that are also trained to kill,
And I look at the stars - for the stars are beautiful still.

by Leslie Coulson.

The Hapless Army

“A soldier braving disease and death on
the battlefield has a seven times better chance
of life than a new-born baby.”—Secretary of
War, U.S.A.


The Hapless Army from the dark
That lies beyond creation,
All blinded by the solar spark,
And leaderless in lands forlorn,
Come stumbling through the mists of morn;
And foes in close formation,
With taloned fingers dripping red,
Bestrew the sodden world with dead.

The Hapless Army bears no sword;
Fell destiny fulfilling,
It marches where the murder horde,
Amid the fair new urge of life,
With poison stream, and shot, and knife,
Make carnival of killing.
No war above black Hell's abyss
Knows evil grim and foul as this.

In pallid hillocks lie the slain
The callous heaven under;
Like twisted hieroglyphs of pain
They fleck earth to oblivion's brink,
As far as human mind may think,
Accusing God with thunder
Of dreadful silence. Nought it serves—
Fate ever calls the doomed reserves!

Still with Death's own monotony
The innocents are falling,
Like dead leaves in a forest dree;
And still the conscript armies come.
No banners theirs, no beat of drum,
No merry bugles calling!
Mad ally in the Slayers' train,
Man slaps and sorrows for the slain!

by Edward George Dyson.

Master Of Three Arts

Your various talents, Goldenson, command
Respect: you are a poet and can draw.
It is a pity that your gifted hand
Should ever have been raised against the law.
If you had drawn no pistol, but a picture,
You would have saved your throttle from a stricture.

About your poetry I'm not so sure:
'Tis certain we have much that's quite as bad,
Whose hardy writers have not to endure
The hangman's fondling. It is said they're mad:
Though lately Mr. Brooks (I mean the poet)
Looked well, and if demented didn't show it.

Well, Goldenson, I am a poet, too
Taught by the muses how to smite the harp
And lift the tuneful voice, although, like you
And Brooks, I sometimes flat and sometimes sharp.
But let me say, with no desire to taunt you,
I never murder even the girls I want to.

I hold it one of the poetic laws
To sing of life, not take. I've ever shown
A high regard for human life because
I have such trouble to support my own.
And you-well, you'll find trouble soon in blowing
Your private coal to keep it red and glowing.

I fancy now I see you at the Gate
Approach St. Peter, crawling on your belly,
You cry: 'Good sir, take pity on my state
Forgive the murderer of Mamie Kelly!'
And Peter says: 'O, that's all right-but, mister,
You scribbled rhymes. In Hell I'll make you blister!'

by Ambrose Bierce.

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