by Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)
In the long house of hate,
In the long hours,
In the never-ending day;
Over the fields—her black hair flying—
Gaunt and drear.
I ve got to die you ve got to die.
We do not fancy your thin hands,
That reach and reach into the vase
Where old things rust.
Death to you—
Thin dream of beauty,
You be gone.
Our fathers in the village streets
Had flowing beards and they believed.
I saw them run into the night—
Old knowledge and all old beliefs
By your hand killed
Awake and shake thy dusty locks.
Come, drive the soldiers to their toil.
A million men my mistress needs,
For her desire,
Out of the vase the long thin hand,
To grip the sword that men forget
My mistress waits beside the mill
To kiss the sword