Home the farmer carts his sheaves,
Homeward rides a laurelled brow:
Living bread and barren leaves,
Yet the sword puts down the plough.
Harvest home for man and beast,
Rustic dance and country mirth
While the soldier’s drunken feast
Triumphs on a plundered hearth.
Till by blackened walls a shape
Crumbles where the reaper died
And the soldier gorged with rape
Bleeds upon the reaper’s bride.
Winter comes to heap the snow
High on the abandoned shield,
Spring to find the rusting plough
Deep in thistles by the field.
In the ether calm and wise
Zeus surveys the fates of men
And ordains their world to rise
From its ruins once again.
Deep beneath a broken land
Grim Hephaestus, at his word,
Forging with impartial hand,
Sets the ploughshare by the sword.