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by Carl Sandburg, 1916

Seven nations stood with their hands on the jaws of death.
 It was the first week in August, Nineteen Hundred Fourteen.
 I was listening, you were listening, the whole world was listening,
 And all of us heard a Voice murmuring:
             “I am the way and the light,
             He that believeth on me
             Shall not perish
             But shall have everlasting life.”
 Seven nations listening heard the Voice and answered:
             “O Hell!”
 The jaws of death began clicking and they go on clicking.
             “O Hell!”

Published in Chicago Poems

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