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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein
Above the world a glare Of sunset guns and spears; An army, no one hears, Of mist and air: Long lines of bronze and gold, Huge helmets, each a cloud; And then a fortress old There in the night that phantoms seem to crowd. A face of flame; a hand Of crimson alchemy Is waved: and, solemnly, At its command, Opens a fiery well, A burning hole, From which a stream of hell, A river of blood, in frenzy, seems to roll. And there, upon a throne, Like some vast precipice, Above that River of Dis, Behold a King! alone! Around whom shapes of blood Take form: each one the peer Of those, who, in the wood Of Dante's Hell froze up the heart with fear. Then shapes, that breast to breast Gallop to face a foe: And through the crimson glow Th' imperial crest Of him whose banner flies Above a world that burns, A raven in the skies, And as it flies into a Death's-Head turns. The wild trees writhe and twist Their gaunt limbs, wrung with fear: And now into my ear A word seems hissed; A message, filled with dread, A dark, foreboding word, "Behold! we are the dead, Who here on Earth lived only by the sword!"
Madison Julius Cawein
Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
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