Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Wakened God
By Margaret Widdemer
 
THE WAR-GOD wakened drowsily;
    There were gold chains about his hands.
    He said: “And who shall reap my lands
And bear the tithes to Death for me?
 
“The nations stilled my thunderings;        5
    They wearied of my steel despair,
    The flames from out my burning hair:
Is there an ending of such things?”
 
Low laughed the Earth, and answered: “When
    Was any changeless law I gave        10
    Changed by my sons intent to save,
By puny pitying hands of men?
 
“I feel no ruth for some I bear….
    The swarming, hungering overflow
    Of crowded millions, doomed to go,        15
They must destroy who chained you there.
 
“For some bright stone or shining praise
    They stint a million bodies’ breath,
    And sell the women, shamed, to death,
And send the men brief length of days.        20
 
“They kill the bodies swift for me,
    And kill the souls you gave to peace….
    You were more merciful than these,
Old master of my cruelty.
 
“Lo, souls are scarred and virtues dim:        25
    Take back thy scourge of ministry,
    Rise from thy silence suddenly,
Lest these still take Death’s toll to him!”
 
The War-God snapped his golden chain:
    His mercies thundered down the world,        30
    And lashing battle-lines uncurled
And scourged the crouching lands again.
 
 
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