The Night of Man

By George Sterling

Europe, how have kings dealt with thee, and sown
    Thine every acre from a human breast!
    Red was the seed and red the harrow pressed
To bitter fields whose harvest was a moan;
And the long years pass on to the unknown,
    And cannon utter now thy lords' unrest,
    Where still their armies gather for the test,
And heavy darkness holds about the throne.

And shall they sow forever in this wise,
    To reap that corn whose roots take hold on Hell?
            Better a desert and the sunlight there,
In which the lions gaze with stony eyes
    From nameless ruins where the lizards dwell,
        And the small hawk floats lonely on the air.

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