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by Carl Sandburg, 1918

Three walls around the town of Tela when I came.
 They expected everything of those walls;
 Nobody in the town came out to kiss my feet.

 I knocked the walls down, killed three thousand soldiers,
 Took away cattle and sheep, took all the loot in sight,
 And burned special captives.

 Some of the soldiers—I cut off hands and feet.
 Others—I cut off ears and fingers.
 Some—I put out the eyes.
 I made a pyramid of heads.
 I strung heads on trees circling the town.

 When I got through with it
 There wasn’t much left of the town of Tela.

Published in Cornhuskers

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