In a Thousand Years

By George Sterling

What will they think of this age in a thousand years,
In the reaping-time of our sown and pregnant tears?
What will they think when the hands of War at last
Fall from the race's throat and his reign is past?—
When, on the hills where Verdun's cannon stood,
Gaul and Teuton are one in brotherhood ?
You of the future's nobler hopes and fears,
What will you think of this age in a thousand years?

What will they think when the children toil no more,
And the old folk rest from the labor long since o'er?—
When no man's need is cause for another's gain,
And each man's grief is part of another's pain?—
When the common sunlight finds not ever a thrall.
And the whole great earth is home and heaven for all?
You of the future's nobler hopes and fears,
What will you think of this age in a thousand year?

What will they think when the tyrant's brow is dust?
What will they think when the spirit's chains are rust,
And the final freedoms lead us out to the light
From the prison-glooms and haunted cells of the night?—
When the many creeds are one in a wider grace,
And the many races blend in the Royal Race ?
You of the future's nobler hopes and fears,
What will you think of this age in a thousand years?

Scorn us not, for the fighting strain was strong!
Scorn us not, for the ancient dark was long!
Long our bleeding feet were slow on the path
Up from the hells of ignorance and wrath.
You whose eyes shall see so freely and far,
Know that ours were loyal too to a star,
Seeing there, tho blurred with the doubting tears,
The sun whose dawn shall surge in a thousand years.

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