Poem Robert Frost

The Vindictives

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You like to hear about gold.

A king filled his prison room

As full as the room could hold

To the top of his reach on the wall

With every known shape of the stuff.

’Twas to buy himself off his doom.

But it wasn’t ransom enough.

His captors accepted it all,

But didn’t let go of the king.

They made him send out a call

To his subjects to gather them more.

And his subjects wrung all they could wring

Out of temple and palace and store.

But when there seemed no more to bring,

His captors convicted the king

Of once having started a war,

And strangled the wretch with a string.

But really that gold was not half

That a king might have hoped to compel—

Not a half, not a third, not a tithe.

The king had scarce ceased to writhe,

When hate gave a terrible laugh,

Like a manhole opened to Hell.

If gold pleased the conqueror, well,

That gold should be the one thing

The conqueror henceforth should lack.

They gave no more thought to the king.

All joined in the game of hide-gold.

They swore all the gold should go back

Deep into the earth whence it came.

Their minds ran on cranny and crack.

All joined in the maddening game.

The tale is still boastingly told

Of many a treasure by name

That vanished into the black

And put out its light for the foe.

That self-sack and self-overthrow,

That was the splendidest sack

Since the forest Germans sacked Rome

And took the gold candlesticks home.

One Inca prince on the rack,

And late in his last hour alive,

Told them in what lake to dive

To seek what they seemed so to want.

They dived and nothing was found.

He told them to dive till they drowned.

The whole fierce conquering pack

Hunted and tortured and raged.

There were suns of story and vaunt

They searched for into Brazil

Their tongues hanging out unassuaged.

But the conquered grew meek and still.

They slowly and silently aged.

They kept their secrets and died,

Maliciously satisfied.

One knew of a burial hole

In the floor of a tribal cave,

Where under deep ash and charcoal

And cracked bones, human and beast,

The midden of feast upon feast,

Was coiled in its last resting grave

The great treasure wanted the most,

The great thousand-linked gold chain,

Each link of a hundred weight,

That once between post and post

(In-leaning under the strain),

And looped ten times back and forth,

Had served as a palace gate.

Some said it had gone to the coast,

Some over the mountains east,

Some into the country north,

On the backs of a single-file host,

Commanded by one sun-priest,

And raising a dust with a train

Of flashing links in the sun.

No matter what some may say.

(The saying is never done.)

There bright in the filth it lay

Untarnished by rust and decay.

And be all plunderers curst.

“The best way to hate is the worst.

’Tis to find what the hated need,

Never mind of what actual worth,

And wipe that out of the earth.

Let them die of unsatisfied greed,

Of unsatisfied love of display,

Of unsatisfied love of the high,

Unvulgar, unsoiled, and ideal.

Let their trappings be taken away.

Let them suffer starvation and die

Of being brought down to the real.”

The Bearer of Evil Tidings
In Div´es’ Dive


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