Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Worker
By David Greenhood
I’VE towered above the hilt of my spade,
Knowing with what muscle-gnawing action,
I mold the earth into usable shape;
And there rises within me, what is more pain to stay …
But the desert is answerless.        5
The desert is blue and yellow and answerless.
I’ve risen above the hairy smell of me;
I’ve held down my rigored fists,
I’ve stood high over shoulders
To the mind of me …        10
But the mind’s unresponsive as lead,
And the lips are sealed as with lead.
As a leaden bell with a song it must sing.
I’ve faced men with God in their faces,
I’ve shown them the crucifixion in mine;        15
From a breast not yet washed of oil and mud of labor
I’ve loosed my blood on foreign lands for men;
And I’ve cried aloud,
But it was not the cry of battle pain.
Now the people wave flags in drunken triumph,        20
And smother my only song in street dust and confetti.
With my spade I’ve changed the desert,
With the fire of me I’ve melted the lead:
But, men,
Even Christ could not make you listen!        25

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.