Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Carpenter
By James Church Alvord
 
IN garments dyed with blood, thorn-crowned, alone,
A wistful figure on the battlefield
Is by frore moonlight through the dusk revealed.
The mutterings of crass voices ’round him groan.
          “Hearing he has not heard;        5
          A god, he has not stirred
To stay this shamefulness of war,” men say.
Spear-pierced by scorn he passes on his way.
 
Dark is earth’s skyline, scarlet-dark; and he
Is pale as wind-blown ashes. His scarred face        10
Droops to the slain boys in that slaughter-place;
His wounded hands touch all wounds tenderly.
          Yet when he lifts his eyes
          The love-light in them dies;
For fury he has fury and for those        15
Who show no mercy he no mercy knows.
 
He tramples out the wine-press of his wrath;
He puts the mighty down from their high seat;
Time-rotted tyrannies topple at his feet;
Gaunt discrowned spectres flit before his path.        20
          Their doom was in his word
          When first Judea heard
Of brotherhood. Kings scuttle at his nod,
Blown down black battles by the breath of God.
 
The night brims up with hate and misery;        25
As from the ground, at each thin blart of fire,
Gleam dead phosphoric eyes in deathless ire.
The hosts snatch freedom from their butchery.
          Dead—no lords they fear.
          Dead—their blue lips jeer.        30
Their cross, and his, drives on the smash of things.
The Carpenter builds scaffolds for the Kings.
 
 
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