A.C. Benson (1862-1925), "The Ant-Heap":
High in the woodland, on the mountain side,
I ponder, half a golden afternoon,
Storing deep strength to battle with the tide
I must encounter soon.
Absorbed, inquisitive, alert, irate,
The wiry wood-ants run beneath the pines,
And bristle if a careless footfall grate
Among their travelled lines.
With prey unwieldy, slain in alien lands,
When shadows fall aslant, laden they come,
Where, piled of red fir-needles, guarded stands
Their dry and rustling dome.
They toil for what they know not; rest they shun;
They nip the soft intruder; when they die,
They grapple pain and fate, and ask from none
The pity they deny.
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