The Great War

from November: Poems in War Time, an electronic edition

The Blacksmith

WHAT have you in your stithy, Thor,

That now you make your bellows roar

So terribly within?

What is there hidden in the heat

That now you snatch it forth and beat

With such huge din ?

He shouted--for he would not cease

Hammering--"What I make is peace !

Amid this clang of war

I shape to't--I who have the skill--

The stubborn steel of all men's will."

--So I heard Thor.

The metal rhymed the word he spoke

As though each awful hammer-stroke

Gave freedom and release:

Under the blacksmithing of Thor

Anvil and steel together swore

World oath of peace.

He took me also, and his blast

Roared, as through all my being passed

The permeating heat:

Within the fury of the flame

I, that had stood apart, became

For forging meet.

Snatched forth and on the anvil laid,

With sudden heavy strokes he played

On me his music well:

"Death! Death! Death!" was the hammer clang

And "Faith! Faith! Faith!" the answer rang

Clear as a bell.