Christmas: 1915

Now is the midnight of the nations: dark  
    Even as death, beside her blood-dark seas,  
    Earth, like a mother in birth agonies,  
Screams in her travail, and the planets hark  
Her million-throated terror. Naked, stark,
    Her torso writhes enormous, and her knees  
    Shudder against the shadowed Pleiades  
Wrenching the night’s imponderable arc.  
Christ! What shall be delivered to the morn  
    Out of these pangs, if ever indeed another
    Morn shall succeed this night, or this vast mother  
Survive to know the blood-spent offspring, torn  
    From her racked flesh?—What splendour from the smother?  
What new-wing’d world, or mangled god still-born?

This poem is in the public domain.