The Crown-Prince at Verdun

By George Sterling

By Mars his hilt! this is a royal sport,
    And fit amusement for a king-to-bel
    Surely the revels now permitted thee
Excel the poor diversions of a court!
Against the tireless thunder of the fort
    Thy ranks go forth as waves upon a sea-
    Puppets and pawns that move at thy decree.
A merry game, but mayst thou find it short!

Or is it as a painter that thy skill
    Favors the world?—daubing with red the snow,
As on the mighty canvas of a hill
        Thy cannon spread the pigments, till the whole
    Stands perfect, and applauding armies know
        The vision of the Hell that waits thy soul.

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