These Men by Leon Gellert

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Men moving in a trench, in the clear noon,
Whetting their steel within the crumbling earth;
Men, moving in a trench ‘neath a new moon
That smiles with a slit mouth and has no mirth;
Men moving in a trench in the grey morn,
Lifting bodies on their clotted frames:
Men with narrow mouths thin-carved in scorn
That twist and fumble strangely at dead names.

These men know life – know death a little more.
These men see paths and ends, and see
Beyond some swinging open door
Into eternity.

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