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Carl Sandburg - Old Timers

I AM an ancient reluctant conscript.
 
On the soup wagons of Xerxes I was a cleaner of pans.
 
On the march of Miltiades’ phalanx I had a haft and head;
I had a bristling gleaming spear-handle.
 
Red-headed Cæsar picked me for a teamster.
He said, “Go to work, you Tuscan bastard,
Rome calls for a man who can drive horses.”
 
The units of conquest led by Charles the Twelfth,
The whirling whimsical Napoleonic columns:
They saw me one of the horseshoers.
 
I trimmed the feet of a white horse Bonaparte swept the night stars with.
 
Lincoln said, “Get into the game; your nation takes you.”
And I drove a wagon and team and I had my arm shot off
At Spottsylvania Court House.
 
I am an ancient reluctant conscript.

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 5169 times | Comments and analysis of Old Timers by Carl Sandburg Comments (0)

Old Timers - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 7. Old Timers
Volume: Cornhuskers
- Shenandoah
Year: Published/Written in 1918
Poem of the Day: Sep 16 2004
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