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As It Was In The Beginning

a poem by George Sterling

 

The royal word goes forth, and armies do
The work of devils. Agony and waste
Are on the world, and the grim legions haste
On the old war-roads that the Caesars knew.
Still gleams the dreadful stain of Waterloo,
On Time's accusing record unerased;
Gone are the ramparts that the Romans faced,
But these the heavens where their eagles flew.

Below the bleak and slowly shifting stars,
Man turns him in his madness, to reveal
His ancient folly and his ancient crime,
And on the tragic breast austere with scars
Re-girds the mail, and draws the hiked steel,
Cold from the twilight battlefields of Time.

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