Aross the broad and barren sky,
The clouds revolve and writhe;
Lurid tempest blossoms nigh,
The shepherd takes his scythe.
Through lust and mediocrity,
The flock fell ill to feeling;
There sullen-sought monstrosity
Left sheep and kindred reeling.
Then storm on darkened gables drew,
As turbid gales persist
In districts blood and bleating knew,
Where swords rest cold in fists.
And nature ceased to stir;
So silence veiled the field’s remains,
The slain deluged the streets and lanes,
Where frigid drafts abjure.
And somewhere in a city square,
A squire wrote in blood
Upon a pristine wall left there,
Whose sermon looms above:
“In every square of land and plain,
The story read the same;
Tempest high and lowly maimed,
Till only grace remained.”