Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GHOSTS OF CONQUEST, by ALBERT EDWARD CLEMENTS



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GHOSTS OF CONQUEST, by            
First Line: We shall break the dry crust of this stale earth, batter it down to ... Despair
Last Line: Glory on ghosts of conquest for a year and a day!
Subject(s): Ghosts; Social Protest; Soldiers; Supernatural; War


We shall break the dry crust of this stale earth, batter it down to a useless
despair,
Temper it with white-blooded hate greater than the eyes of the sea staring
rigidly into the last typhoon;
Even fling black coal across its naked, foul-green spine,
And break it, break it, break it into everywhere!

For we are the ghosts of conquest. Throughout centuries as old as the first
startled yellow flame devouring soft wood,
We have been sulking beneath the weight of useless war crosses,
A weight so terrific, so like the futility of endless struggle on struggle,
That it pulled upward from our embittered hearts with the intangible strain
Of a heaven we could never attain.

Open world! Let us bite into your frightened lips with our skeleton teeth, let
us feel your full breasts that we may squeeze to disconsolate death their wealth
Gained with the drunken-lipped twist of lust and stealth.
Open your soul lest we spill the sea,
A shivering death of flaming ice, over your crooked eyes!
For we are tired of your eternal lies,
Of glory in death, of glorified conquest.

Now our grave is open, open as the sky before the first glaring dark of a
rumbling storm,
And we, the ghosts of unremitted conquest,
Setting crazily in the East, coming up wilding out of the West,
Are risen to choke you to the last death
Of steel-pointed hate. Long has the world
Waited for us to be hurled
Into your arms. Now we have come!
The skies are black, the sea is a rage of burning white and blue,
The moon is a glass of furious hell, laughing,
Laughing at you.

We have come!
Pain for our bayonets, blood for our drum.
Now we shall break you, earth,
Until we who died seem worth
All your barren greed and futility.
Glory! Glory on a horizon too black to stay!
Glory on ghosts of conquest for a year and a day!





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