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The Glorious Day

From The Topeka State Journal, January 22, 1915.

Gray dawn, and the boom of a fortress gun;
A cry of death, and the fight’s begun.
The grass is wet with the night dew yet;
It will drown in blood ere the sun has set.
The killers start up from their beds in the clay,
Their faces as gray as the new born day.
Just a moment they shrink, for the morn is chill,
But their hearts leap quick, and their pulses thrill
As they lunge to their work, and they kill with a will,
And they kill and they kill and they kill and they kill—
    For the fight is on.

High noon, and the din of a thousand tones;
Curses and shrieks and sobs and moans;
Clashing of steel and the rattle of guns,
And the drip, drip, drip where the red blood runs.
Stench on the air, and the vultures come;
The starved dogs wait and the green flies hum.
Death in a hundred shapes, death everywhere,
On plain and hill, in the mine, in the air!
And the killers toil on, and they kill with a will.
And they kill and they kill and they kill and they kill—
    For the fight goes on!

Black night, and the killers lie down from their toil,
Throw their blood stained arms on the blood soaked soil;
And they sleep and they dream of their unfinished work,
While the starved dogs gorge in the gloom and the murk.
And the chief of the killers walks forth on the plain,
Where he stumbles and falls on the forms of the slain.
And his tin medals rattle, the baubles he’s won,
And he curses the dead, but he mutters, “Well done!
’Twas a glorious day, but there’s work to do still,
And we’ll kill and we’ll kill and we’ll kill and we’ll kill
    Till the last fight’s won!”

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