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The Worm Joseph
by Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887-1916)

(I am a worm and no man--DAVID) 

The worm is clad in plated mail 
And rides upon the envious Earth 
 His power prevails and shall prevail 
When Death gleans in the fields of Birth. 

He sips the purple wine of kings 
From burnished skulls and bumper hearts, 
Of fat and famine years he sings 
And fills his granaries from the marts. 

His brethren that have sold his name, 
Denied him to his ancient Sire, 
Shall seek him when they feel his fame 
Shall find him when they fear his fire. 

But you, O Benjamin, beloved, 
Dove-like and young, with him shall sup 
And then departing unreproved 
Bear with you his divining cup.

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager