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Newspaper Page Text
after work stealing through my longing-
The door opens. A little girl and
a boy who has just learned the use
of his legs, put their noses in at the
"Daddy, may wej"
I nod consent. Then they spread
out their little arms, and rush at met
They are climbing on my knees
now, and I give them a ride "this is
how we ride to war."
But they twine their soft arms
round my neck until at length I put
them down on the-floor: "Now go to
Then I come back with a start I
feel my knapsack chafing my back
I feel my rifle I see the dead at my
My God! how can these things Jje?
How can these two worlds be so ter
ribly close to each other?
And we pass on through this first
spring crop of dead bodies. No one
says a word. No one has a joke. How
surreptitiously the others glance
aside when some corpse, all too gro
tesquely mangled, meets their eyes.
I wonder what is passing through
Working men, tradesmen, artisans
and agricultural laborers, that's what
they are for the most part. They
themselves have as yet never smelled
powder, nor ever been under fire.
That, I suppose, is the reason why
they have suddenly become so
Then a voice beside me says some
thing abruptly, and it seems as if
the voice rebounded hollow from the
"The .stuff is laying about here
same as muck."
That was my yokel beside me.
Then he, too, relapses into silence,
and I feel as if I could read behind
their shy eyes as if all that is going
on in these dull brains had suddenly
become clear as daylight.
They're all drawn from that other
T world, where Life kissed us and coz-.
ened caressingly round our-bodiess.
You have brought us up as human
beings. That we have been human
no longer counts. Life and love no
longer count; flesh and blood no
longer count; only gore and corpses
count for anything now. How we
used to tremble in that other world,
when a naked human life was even
in danger. How we rushed into the
burning house to drive away the
death for which some poor old par
alyzed woman craved. How we
plunged into the wintry river to
snatch a starved beggar brat from
the quiet waters. We would not even
suffer a man to creep away out of
Life by stealth while we looked on.
We cut down suicides at their last
sob, and hustled them back into life.
Of our mercy we set up half-rotted
wastrels with new bodies; with pills,
elixirs and medicines, with herbalists,
professors and surgeons, with cau
teries, amputations and electro
theraphy, we fanned the flickering
life and fed the sunken flame with
oxygen and radium and all the ele
ments. There was nothing greater,
nothing more sacred than Life. Life
was everything to us, was for us the
most precious possession on earth.
And here K.es that most precious
of possessions here it is lying wast
ed and used up spurned as the dust
by the roadside and we are march
ing along over it as over dust and
(To Be Continued Monday.)
THE SEVEN AGES
First Age Sees the earth.
Second Age Wants it.
Third Age Hustle's to get it.
Fourth Age Decides to be satisfied
with only half of it.
Fifth Age Becomes still more
Sixth Age Now content to pos?
sess a six-by-two strip of it.
Seventh Age Gets the strip.