The Death-Chords

By George Sterling

What antiphon is this, with Earth to Hell
    Rendering moan for moan? Alas the cries
    That from red mouths of many wounds arise
Above the bass of cannon and the knell
Of tolling mortal and infernal shell!
    Far upon Europe's overshadowed skies
    The deep vibration of that anthem dies,
When falls the night with Death for sentinel.

This is the music of thy traitor kings,
    O world betrayed, and this the cruel song
        Thou singest in the heavens of love and light!
Fold, fold across the lands thy mighty wings
    Of dawn and sunset: thou hast sung too long!
        Draw round thy breast the everlasting Night!

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