Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | September 7, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: The Man Under the Stone

by Edwin Markham (1857 – 1940).

The Man under the Stone

When I see a workingman with mouths to feed,
Up, day after day, in the dark, before the dawn,
And coming home, night after night, through
the dusk,
Swinging forward like some fierce, silent animal,                 
I see a man doomed to roll a huge stone up an
endless steep.
He strains it onward inch by stubborn inch,
Crouched always in the shadow of the rock….
See where he crouches, twisted, cramped, misshapen!       
He lifts for their life;
The veins knot and darken—
Blood surges into his face.
Now he loses—now he wins—
Now he loses—loses—(God of my soul!)                            
He digs his feet into the earth—
There’s a moment of terrified effort…
Will the huge stone break his hold,
And crush him as it plunges to the gulf?
The silent struggle goes on and on,                                   
Like two contending in a dream.

Notes:
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/markham/markham.htm http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/689

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