The Way of War


               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.


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