Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
I Sing the Battle
(From “The Cry of Youth”)

By Harry Kemp

(A young American poet who has wandered over the world as sailor, harvest hand and tramp; born 1883)
I SING the song of the great clean guns that belch forth death at will.
Ah, but the wailing mothers, the lifeless forms and still!
I sing the songs of the billowing flags, the bugles that cry before.
Ah, but the skeletons flapping rags, the lips that speak no more!
I sing the clash of bayonets and sabres that flash and cleave.        5
And wilt thou sing the maimed ones, too, that go with pinned-up sleeve?
I sing acclaimèd generals that bring the victory home.
Ah, but the broken bodies that drip like honey-comb!
I sing of hearts triumphant, long ranks of marching men.
And wilt thou sing the shadowy hosts that never march again?        10

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