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First Line: In the first year of the last disgrace
Last Line: To the sunrise axe of the day.
Subject(s): Peace


In the first year of the last disgrace
Peace, turning her face away,
Coughing in laurelled fires, weeping,
Drags out from her hatcheted heart
The sunset axe of the day.

And leaning up against the red sky
She mourns over evening cities:
The milky morning springs from her mothering
breast
Half choked with happy memories
And fulfilment of miseries.

'I am the wife of the workman world
With an apron full of children --
And happy, happy any hovel was
With my helping hand under his gifted head
And for my sleep his shoulder.

'I wish that the crestfallen stars would fall
Out of his drunken eye and strike
My children cold. I wish the big sea
Would pity them, and pity me,
And smother us all alike.

'Bitter sun, bitter sun, put out your lions
As I have put out my hope.
For he will take them in his clever hand
And teach them how to dismember love
Just as though it was Europe.

O washing-board Time, my hands are sore
And the backs of the angels ache.
For the redhanded husband has abandoned me
To drag his coat in front of his pride,
And I know my heart will break.

In the first year of the last disgrace
Peace, turning her face away,
Coughing in fire and laurels, weeping,
Bared again her butchered heart
To the sunrise axe of the day.




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