Home > Uncategorized > Mathilde Blind: All vile things that batten on disaster follow feasting in the wake of war

Mathilde Blind: All vile things that batten on disaster follow feasting in the wake of war

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Mathilde Blind: Reaping War’s harvest grim and gory

Mathilde Blind: Widowing the world of men to win the world

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Mathilde Blind
From The Leading of Sorrow
The Ascent of Man

Horror, horror! The fair town is burning,
Flames burst forth, wild sparks and ashes fly;
With her children’s blood the green earth’s turning
Blood-red – blood-red, too, the cloud-winged sky.
Crackling flare the streets: from the lone steeple
The great clock booms forth its ancient chime,
And its dolorous quarters warn the people
Of the conquering troops that march with time.

Fallen lies the fair old town, its houses
Charred and ruined gape in smoking heaps;
Here with shouts a ruffian band carouses,
There an outraged woman vainly weeps.
In the fields where the ripe corn lies mangled,
Where the wounded groan beneath the dead,
Friend and foe, now helplessly entangled,
Stain red poppies with a guiltier red.

There the dog howls o’er his perished master,
There the crow comes circling from afar;
All vile things that batten on disaster
Follow feasting in the wake of war.
Famine follows – what they ploughed and planted
The unhappy peasants shall not reap;
Sickening of strange meats and fever haunted,
To their graves they prematurely creep.

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