Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VICARIOUS ATONEMENT, by RICHARD ALDINGTON

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VICARIOUS ATONEMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is an old and very cruel god
Last Line: This bitter cup from us.
Subject(s): Death; Goddesses & Gods; Military; Mythology; Social Protest; Soldiers; War; Dead, The

There is an old and very cruel god

We will endure;
We will try not to wince
When he crushes and rends us.
If indeed it is for your sakes,
If we perish or moan in torture,
Or stagger under sordid burdens
That you may live—
Then we can endure.

If our wasted blood
Makes bright the page
Of poets yet to be;
If this our tortured life
Saved from destruction's nails
Gold words of a Greek long dead;
Then we can endure,
Then hope,
Then watch the sun rise
Without utter bitterness.
But, O thou old and very cruel god,
Take if thou canst,
This bitter cup from us.

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