image: Excavating a mass grave in Iraq.

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Epitaph for the Race of Man: X
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The broken dike, the levee washed away,
The good fields flooded and the cattle drowned,
Estranged and treacherous all the faithful ground,
And nothing left but floating disarray
Of tree and home uprooted, — was this the day
Man dropped upon his shadow without a sound
And died, having laboured well and having found
His burden heavier than a quilt of clay?
No, no. I saw him when the sun had set
In water, leaning on his single oar
Above his garden faintly glimmering yet…
There bulked the plough, here washed the updrifted weeds…
And scull across his roof and make for shore,
With twisted face and pocket full of seeds.

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