Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A CERTAIN VERY UGLY BUILDING: THE ARMORY, by VINCENT GODFREY BURNS



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TO A CERTAIN VERY UGLY BUILDING: THE ARMORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Minotaur of madness, you certainly belong there
Last Line: O slumtown symbol of war's grim insanity!
Subject(s): Arms & Armor; Army - Ireland; Buildings & Builders; Death; Pacifism; Social Protest; War; Weapons; Ammunition; Dead, The; Peace Movements


Minotaur of madness, you certainly belong there;
Mountain grim of black stone, with relevancy rare
You fit most perfectly your slum environment.

In this shambles where every undertaker thrives,
Where not one thing is quite so cheap as human lives,
You are Death's eloquent, ideal advertisement.

You go up mid tenements where out of fetid rooms
Our cocky Irish lads march gaily to their dooms,
Go down to Armageddon with a glory in their eyes.

Just to lie down on winter's night in warm, clean bed,
To know the joys of comradeship, to be well-fed,
To slum-hell dwellers—what a door to Paradise!

So they laugh, and snatch their guns from out your bloody hands;
What a lark to leave the shop, and ship for foreign lands!
These crippled Christs know no such sport in their drab, dull peace.

Right merrily with cheers they welcome every war,
With hearts full of hope and joy they throng your gaping door,
War means not death and doom to these, but gay release!

But ghost-haunted are your shadowy halls of gloom,
Your gray roof's a shroud and your sooty walls a tomb,
A tomb for herded, blinded saints of our humanity;

A tomb where throng the ghosts of an uncounted host,
A tomb where ruins lie of a myriad cities lost,
O slumtown symbol of war's grim insanity!





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