Contemplation of the Sword
Reason will not decide at last; the sword will decide.
The sword: an obsolete instrument of bronze or steel,
formerly used to kill men, but here
In the sense of a symbol. The sword: that is: the storms
and counter-storms of general destruction; killing
Destruction of all goods and materials; massacre, more or
less intentional, of children and women;
Destruction poured down from wings, the air made accomplice,
the innocent air
Perverted into assassin and poisoner.
The sword: that is: treachery and cowardice, incredible
baseness, incredible courage, loyalties, insanities.
The sword: weeping and despair, mass-enslavement,
mass-torture, frustration of all hopes
That starred man’s forehead. Tyranny for freedom, horror for
happiness, famine for bread, carrion for children.
Reason will not decide at last, the sword will decide.
— Robinson Jeffers