Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SAKIYEH, by MATHILDE BLIND

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THE SAKIYEH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How long shall man be nature's fool?' man cries
Last Line: Bound blindfold to the groaning wheel of time.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lake, Claude
Subject(s): Egypt; Water-wheels

"HOW long shall Man be Nature's fool?" Man cries;
"Be like those great, gaunt oxen, drilled and bound,
Inexorably driven round and round
To turn the water-wheel with bandaged eyes?
And as they trudge beneath Egyptian skies,
Watering the wrinkled desert's beggared ground,
The hoarse Skiyeh's lamentable sound
Fills all the land as with a people's sighs?"

Poor Brutes! Who in unconsciousness sublime,
Replenishing the ever-empty jars,
Endow the waste with palms and harvest gold:
And men, who move in rhythm with moving stars,
Should shrink to give the borrowed lives they hold:
Bound blindfold to the groaning wheel of Time.

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