War's Music

By George Sterling

As harp-strings now the swept horizons roar.
    The bleak, tremendous music of the guns
    Seems as the challenge of contending suns
When past Orion's sword the heavens war.
The sound is of a sea whose waves outpour
    Destruction, and whose wind of ruin runs
    With thunder, where—a voice whose onset stuns—
Groans a red surf upon a crimson shore.

Are these the tidings of the race's doom
    The throats of cannon utter to the world?
        The mortar tolls like Death's prophetic bell,
And tongues of terror cry across the gloom,
    Where the great shells descend like chariots hurled
        From midnight, on some battlefield of Hell.

Bibliography Entry