The Way of War

by Jack London

Jack London

Man primeval hurled a rock,
Torn with angry passions, he;
To escape the which rude shock.
Foeman ducked behind a tree.

Man primeval made a spear,
Swifth of death on battle field;
Foeman fashioned other gear,
Fought behind his hidebound shield.

Man mediaeval built a wall,
Said he didn't give a dam;
Foeman not put out at all,
Smashed it with a battering ram.

Man mediaeval, just for fun,
Made himself a coat of mail;
Foeman laughed and forged a gun,
Peppered him with iron hail.

Modern man bethought a change,
Cast most massive armor-plate;
Foeman just increased his range,
Tipped his ball to penetrate.

Modern man, with toil untold,
Deftly built torpedo boats;
Foeman launched "destroyer" bold,
Swept the sea of all that floats.

Future man - ah! who can say? -
May blow to smithereens our earth;
In the course of warrior play
Fling death across the heavens' girth.

Future man may hurl the stars,
Leash the comets, o'er-ride space,
Sear the universe with scars,
In the fight 'twixt race and race.

Yet foeman will be just as cute -
Amid the rain falling suns,
Leave the world by parachute,
And build ethereal forts and guns.

And when the skies begin to fall
The foeman still will new invent -
Into a star-proof world he'll crawl,
Heaven insured from accident.

Last updated August 06, 2018