Aftermath

By George Sterling

Slowly among the wounded and the slain
    The gleaners take the harvest of the kings,
    But harvest-song no joyous maiden sings,
And crimson fingers lift a crimson grain.
Where darkness and the powers of darkness reign,
    They bend above unutterable things,
    As far away the restless searchlight swings
Its ghastly ray along the burdened plain.

Well seems it that they wear a cross of red,
    But better seems it that this earth should bear
        That blazon in the concourse of the stars,
(Ere the Night conquer and the sun fall dead)
    And 'mid dark Signs and warring heavens glare,
        Disastrous, with the bloody light of Mars.

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