Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HIRED MAN, by EVA K. ANGLESBURG

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THE HIRED MAN, by            
First Line: He was an ex-artillery man
Last Line: Almost one heard the caissons rumbling by.
Subject(s): Memory; Soldiers

He was an ex-artillery man.
God knows the devious paths by which he came
To be day-man on a Dakota farm.
Too frail for such hard tasks was that gaunt frame
Burned up by evil living. Seamed and worn
Was that dark face and dull those staring eyes.
Yet there were times he wore his garments torn
As if they were his country's uniform.
Once of the light artillery, now he rode
The clashing disc or drove the jingling drill,
But when the four great horses forward surged.
Memory, it seemed, had power to rouse him still.
Out of that ruin of a man would rise
The soldier, poised, alert, revitalized.
As he swept past with taut reins lifted high
Almost one heard the caissons rumbling by.

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