The War-Machine

By George Sterling

Behold the monster that their hands have made!
    Behold the mindless god of steel and lead
    To whom the unhappy sons of man are fed!
His priests in gold and scarlet stand arrayed;
His altar reeks; the lamp within the shade
    Glows with a quenchless and malignant red.
    O poisoned wine and pestilential bread!
O faith discomfited and hope betrayed!

His music is a weeping in the dark,
    And hiss of knotted serpents, and the moan
    Of men that bleed upon his altar-stone,
        Where the blind seraphim of Pain and Death
Stand in the shadow right and left, nor mark
        The incense coiling like a dragon's breath.

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