American Poetry 1922/Mater in Extremis

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I stand between them and the outer winds,
But I am a crumbling wall.
They told me they could bear the blast alone,
They told me: that was all.
But I must wedge myself between
Them and the first snowfall.

Riddled am I by onslaughts and attacks
I thought I could forestall;
I reared and braced myself to shelter them
Before I heard them call.
I cry them, God, a better shield!
I am about to fall.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1977, 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.