A Death Song

by William Morris

What cometh here from east to west awending?

And who are these, the marchers stern and slow?

We bear the message that the rich are sending

Aback to those who bade them wake or know.

Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay,

But one and all if they must dusk the day.

We asked them for a life of toilsome earning,

They bade us bide our leisure for our bread;

We craved to speak to tell our woeful learning;

We come back speechless, bearing back our dead.

Not one, not one, but thousands must they slay,

But one and all if they must dusk the day.

They will not learn; they have no ears to hearken.

They turn their faces from the eyes of fate;

Their gay-lit halls shut out the skies that darken.

But, lo! this dead man knocking at the gate.

Not one, not one, but thousands must they slay,

But one and all if they must dusk the day.

Here lies the sign that we shall break our prison;

Amidst the storm he won a prisoner’s rest;

But in the cloudy dawn the sun arisen

Brings us our day of work to win the rest.

Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay,

But one and all if they would dusk the day.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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