The royal word goes forth, and armies do
The work of devils. Agony and waste
Are on the world, and the grim legions haste
Aloof upon the day's immeasured dome,
He holds unshared the silence of the sky.
Far down his bleak, relentless eyes descry
The eagle's empire and the falcon's home --
Far up the mountain-side today
The slopes are baked and hot;
I find no shade upon my way,
And water-springs are not.
Slowly among the wounded and the slain
The gleaners take the harvest of the kings,
But harvest-song no joyous maiden sings,
Mother, in some sad evening long ago,
From thy young breast my groping lips were taken,
Their hunger stilled, so soon again to waken,
But nevermore that holy food to know.