Ashurnatsirpal III

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Cornhuskers by Carl Sandburg
Ashurnatsirpal III
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ASHURNATSIRPAL III

(From Babylonian tablet, 4,000 years Before Christ)


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.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1967, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.