English poetry

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Ashurnatsirpal III



THREE walls around the town of Tela when I came.
They expected everything of those walls;
Nobody in the town came out to kiss my feet.

I knocked the walls down, killed three thousand soldiers,
Took away cattle and sheep, took all the loot in sight,
And burned special captives.

Some of the soldiers-I cut off hands and feet.
Others-I cut off ears and fingers.
Some-I put out the eyes.
I made a pyramid of heads.
I strung heads on trees circling the town.

When I got through with it
There wasn’t much left of the town of Tela.

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Poem Ashurnatsirpal III - Carl Sandburg
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