Leather Leggings

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Cornhuskers by Carl Sandburg
Leather Leggings
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LEATHER LEGGINGS

They have taken the ball of earth

and made it a little thing.


They were held to the land and horses;

they were held to the little seas.

They have changed and shaped and welded;

they have broken the old tools and made
new ones; they are ranging the white
scarves of cloudland; they are bumping
the sunken bells of the Carthaginians
and Phœnicians:
they are handling
the strongest sea
as a thing to be handled.


The earth was a call that mocked;

it is belted with wires and meshed with
steel; from Pittsburg to Vladivostok is
an iron ride on a moving house; from
Jerusalem to Tokyo is a reckoned span;
and they talk at night in the storm and
salt, the wind and the war.


They have counted the miles to the Sun

and Canopus; they have weighed a small
blue star that comes in the southeast
corner of the sky on a foretold errand.


We shall search the sea again.

We shall search the stars again.

There are no bars across the way.

There is no end to the plan and the clue,

the hunt and the thirst.

The motors are drumming, the leather leggings

and the leather coats wait:
Under the sea
and out to the stars
we go.