Siegfried Sassoon

(1886 - 1967 / Kent / England)

Ancient History


Adam, a brown old vulture in the rain,
Shivered below his wind-whipped olive-trees;
Huddling sharp chin on scarred and scraggy knees,
He moaned and mumbled to his darkening brain;
‘He was the grandest of them all was Cain!
‘A lion laired in the hills, that none could tire:
‘Swift as a stag: a stallion of the plain,
‘Hungry and fierce with deeds of huge desire.’

Grimly he thought of Abel, soft and fair
A lover with disaster in his face,
And scarlet blossom twisted in bright hair.
‘Afraid to fight; was murder more disgrace?’
‘God always hated Cain’ He bowed his head
The gaunt wild man whose lovely sons were dead.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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