The SwordSinging—The voice of the Sword from the heart of the SwordClanging imperiousForth from Time’s battlementsHis ancient and triumphing Song.
In the beginning,Ere God inspired HimselfInto the clay thingThumbed to His image,The vacant, the naked shellSoon to be Man:Thoughtful He pondered it,Prone there and impotent,Fragile, invitingAttack and discomfiture:Then, with a smile—As He heard in the ThunderThat laughed over EdenThe voice of the Trumpet,The iron Beneficence,Calling His doomsTo the Winds of the world—Stooping, He drewOn the sand with His fingerA shape for a signOf His way to the eyesThat in wonder should waken,For a proof of His willTo the breaking intelligence:That was the birth of me:I am the Sword.
Hard and bleak, keen and cruel,Short-hilted, long-shafted,I froze into steel:And the blood of my elder,His hand on the hafts of me,Sprang like a waveIn the wind, as the senseOf his strength grew to ecstasy,Glowed like a coalAt the throat of the furnace,As he knew me and named meThe War-Thing, the Comrade,Father of honourAnd giver of kingship,The fame-smith, the song-master,Bringer of womenOn fire at his handsFor the pride of fulfilment,Priest (saith the Lord)Of his marriage with victory.Ho! then, the Trumpet,Handmaid of heroes,Calling the peersTo the place of espousal!Ho! then, the splendourAnd sheen of my ministry,Clothing the earthWith a livery of lightnings!Ho! then, the musicOf battles in onsetAnd ruining armours,And God’s gift returningIn fury to God!Glittering and keenAs the song of the winter stars,Ho! then, the soundOf my voice, the implacableAngel of Destiny!—I am the Sword.
Heroes, my children,Follow, O follow me,Follow, exultingIn the great light that breaksFrom the sacred companionship:Thrust through the fatuous,Thrust through the fungous broodSpawned in my shadowAnd gross with my gift!Thrust through, and hearken,O hark, to the Trumpet,The Virgin of Battles,Calling, still calling youInto the Presence,Sons of the Judgment,Pure wafts of the Will!Edged to annihilate,Hilted with government,Follow, O follow meTill the waste placesAll the grey globe overOoze, as the honeycombDrips, with the sweetnessDistilled of my strength:And, teeming in peaceThrough the wrath of my coming,They give back in beautyThe dread and the anguishThey had of me visitant!Follow, O follow, then,Heroes, my harvesters!Where the tall grain is ripeThrust in your sickles:Stripped and adustIn a stubble of empire,Scything and bindingThe full sheaves of sovranty:Thus, O thus gloriously,Shall you fulfil yourselves:Thus, O thus mightily,Show yourselves sons of mine—Yea, and win grace of me:I am the Sword.
I am the feast-maker:Hark, through a noiseOf the screaming of eagles,Hark how the Trumpet,The mistress of mistresses,Calls, silver-throatedAnd stern, where the tablesAre spread, and the workOf the Lord is in hand!Driving the darkness,Even as the bannersAnd spears of the Morning;Sifting the nations,The slag from the metal,The waste and the weakFrom the fit and the strong;Fighting the brute,The abysmal Fecundity;Checking the gross,Multitudinous blunders,The groping, the purblindExcesses in service,Of the Womb universal,The absolute Drudge;Changing the charactryCarved on the World,The miraculous gemIn the seal-ring that burnsOn the hand of the Master—Yea!...