Verse > Carl Sandburg > Cornhuskers
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Cornhuskers.  1918.
38. Leather Leggings
THEY have taken the ball of earth
    and made it a little thing.
They were held to the land and horses;
    they were held to the little seas.
They have changed and shaped and welded;        5
    they have broken the old tools and made
    new ones; they are ranging the white
    scarves of cloudland; they are bumping
    the sunken bells of the Carthaginians
    and Phœnicians:        10
              they are handling
              the strongest sea
              as a thing to be handled.
The earth was a call that mocked;
    it is belted with wires and meshed with        15
    steel; from Pittsburg to Vladivostok is
    an iron ride on a moving house; from
    Jerusalem to Tokyo is a reckoned span;
    and they talk at night in the storm and
    salt, the wind and the war.        20
They have counted the miles to the Sun
    and Canopus; they have weighed a small
    blue star that comes in the southeast
    corner of the sky on a foretold errand.
We shall search the sea again.        25
We shall search the stars again.
There are no bars across the way.
There is no end to the plan and the clue,
    the hunt and the thirst.
The motors are drumming, the leather leggings        30
    and the leather coats wait:
                        Under the sea
                        and out to the stars
                        we go.


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