Drill

WHEN day's hard task's done,
Eve's scant meal partaken,
Out we steal each one,
Weariless, unshaken.
In small reeking squares,
Garbaged plots, we gather,
Little knots and pairs,
Brother, sister, father.
Then the Word is given.
In their silent places
Under lowering heaven,
Range our stern-set faces.
Now we march and wheel
In our clumsy line,
Shouldering sticks for steel,
Thoughts bitter as brine!
Drill, drill, drill, and drill!
It is only thus
Conquer yet we will
Those who've conquered us.
Patience, sisters, mothers!
We must not forget
Foiled dead fathers, brothers;
They must teach us yet.
In that Hour we see,
The Hour of our Desire,
What shall their slayers be?
As the stubble to the fire!

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"Drill" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/14005/drill>.

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