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 Conqueror
By James Rorty
I THINK the corn will conquer.
What, shall Death’s black flail,
Forever swinging, lift and fall
Upon these sullen lands
That were so marvellously ripe for love?        5
I think the corn will conquer.
What, shall that shrill fury Fear—
Crazed, crazed, forever crazed—
Run screeching down these sober hazel lanes,
And no one bid her hush?        10
I think the corn will conquer.
What, shall man,
Forever wailing “God!” and “God!”
Beat like a sick child
Upon earth’s patient breasts?        15
I think the corn will conquer;
I have seen
Green acres marching like the sea,
Climbing the ridges,
Riding the hill-tops,        20
Drawing strength from the warm mist
That wraps the valleys.
I have seen
The red sun lift his battered shield
From out earth’s eastern thunders        25
And bask amid the corn-tops’ gold;
Until the dawn-wind trumpets from the height
And bids each meadow fling abroad
The yellow waving banners of the corn.
I have seen        30
Deep in the cool green twilight of the corn
A king’s sword rusting;
How the good red earth
Had sucked its venom!
How the sprawling pumpkin wrapped        35
The jewelled scabbard in her lewd embrace!
The while I heard
From every clod, from every stalk and blade
A myriad insect voices fifing, “Victory!”

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