Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
 
50. Christmas: 1915
 
By Percy MacKaye
 
 
NOW is the midnight of the nations: dark
  Even as death, beside her blood-dark seas,
  Earth, like a mother in birth agonies,
Screams in her travail, and the planets hark
Her million-throated terror. Naked, stark,        5
  Her torso writhes enormous, and her knees
  Shudder against the shadowed Pleiades
Wrenching the night’s imponderable arc.
 
Christ! What shall be delivered to the morn
  Out of these pangs, if ever indeed another        10
  Morn shall succeed this night, or this vast mother
Survive to know the blood-spent offspring, torn
  From her racked flesh?—What splendour from the smother?
What new-wing’d world, or mangled god still-born?
 

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