Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ISHMAEL, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER

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ISHMAEL, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Again the wanderer starts out
Last Line: To save a home he never had.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Ishmael (bible)

Again the wanderer starts out
To alien battles; and we see,
Beneath the welter and the rout,
The ancient, tragic irony.

He goes, too dumbly to be grim,
Down to the dead, the chosen ones;
While nations that rejected him
Accept his flesh to stop the guns.

Plunged in a war he never sought,
Hurled at his brothers' gaping lines,
Blinded, bewildered, scattered, caught --
A sudden ray of promise shines. . . .

He stops -- the guerdon seems too great!
Then, with a deep and trembling breath,
He goes to meet a thundering fate
And die, perhaps, a captain's death!

Pariah, outcast -- he delights
In struggles that should drive him mad.
He lives upon defeat; and fights
To save a home he never had.

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