Man primeval hurled a rock, Torn with angry passions, he; To escape the which rude shock. Foeman ducked behind a tree. Man primeval made a spear, Swifth of death on battle field; Foeman fashioned other gear, Fought behind his hidebound shield. Man mediaeval built a wall, Said he didn't give a dam; Foeman not put out at all, Smashed it with a battering ram. Man mediaeval, just for fun, Made himself a coat of mail; Foeman laughed and forged a gun, Peppered him with iron hail. Modern man bethought a change, Cast most massive armor-plate; Foeman just increased his range, Tipped his ball to penetrate. Modern man, with toil untold, Deftly built torpedo boats; Foeman launched "destroyer" bold, Swept the sea of all that floats. Future man - ah! who can say? - May blow to smithereens our earth; In the course of warrior play Fling death across the heavens' girth. Future man may hurl the stars, Leash the comets, o'er-ride space, Sear the universe with scars, In the fight 'twixt race and race. Yet foeman will be just as cute - Amid the rain falling suns, Leave the world by parachute, And build ethereal forts and guns. And when the skies begin to fall The foeman still will new invent - Into a star-proof world he'll crawl, Heaven insured from accident.
Return to the Jack London library , or . . . Read the next poem; The Worker and the Tramp