Verse > Carl Sandburg > Cornhuskers
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Cornhuskers.  1918.
 
74. Ashurnatsirpal III
 
(From Babylonian tablet, 4,000 years Before Christ)
 
 
THREE walls around the town of Tela when I came.
They expected everything of those walls;
Nobody in the town came out to kiss my feet.
 
I knocked the walls down, killed three thousand soldiers,
Took away cattle and sheep, took all the loot in sight,        5
And burned special captives.
 
Some of the soldiers—I cut off hands and feet.
Others—I cut off ears and fingers.
Some—I put out the eyes.
I made a pyramid of heads.        10
I strung heads on trees circling the town.
 
When I got through with it
There wasn’t much left of the town of Tela.
 

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