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Pity of It, The Analysis



Author: Poetry of Katharine Lee Bates Type: Poetry Views: 222

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I. In South Africa



Over the lonesome African plain

The stars look down, like eyes of the slain.



A bumping ride across gullies and ruts,

Now a grumble and now a jest,

A bit of profanity jolted out,

--Whist!

Into a hornet's nest!

Curse on the scout!

Long-bearded Boers rising out of the rocks,

Rocks that already are crimson-splashed,

Ping-ping of bullets, stabbings and cuts,

As if hell hurtled and hissed,

--Then, muffling the shocks,

A sting in the breast,

A mist,

A woman's face down the darkness flashed,

Rest.



All as before, save for still forms spread

Under the boulders dripping red.



Over the lonesome African plain

The stars look down, like eyes of the slain.









II. In the Philippines



Silvery rice-fields whisper wide

How for home and freedom their owners died.



We've set the torch to their bamboo town,

And out they come in a scampering rush,

Little brown men with spears.

Shoot!

Down they go in a crush,

Sickening smears,

Hideous writhing huddles and heaps

Under the palms and the mango-trees.

More, still more! Shoot 'em down

Like brown jack-rabbits that scoot

With comical leaps

Out of the brush.

No loot?

No prisoners, then. As for these --

Hush!



The flag that dreamed of delivering

Shudders and droops like a broken wing.



Silvery rice-felds whisper wide

How for home and freedom their owners died.





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