I stir awake from a dream –
Or was it not a dream? I don’t recall –
Smoke and ash, fire and brimstone,
All draped on the crimson-splattered walls.
They look beautiful yet bear a gruesome imprint,
Known only to those who fight
And fight I do.
I wonder why I bother—
Rather, I used to bother—
Ripping my heart out for her
Nation against nation, limb from limb
Constantly flashing in my mind.
We all crouch, single-file, into a trench.
Forgive us, farmers, for your fields.
In idle anxiety, we witness the death row.
A German mariner drowns beneath the waves.
A Russian tank no longer functions for us.
A French pilot, in his despair, descends from heaven.
And our own soldier convulses in his blood.
So suffer now and pay the price,
Every single one of you bloody communists!
No one takes His Majesty’s land as long as I stand,
And where are you, America, to be our friend?
Ease the wound in your chest, private,
And we’ll die, we’ll die.
Why not me, Lord?
Why take Archduke Ferdinand?
Answer my cry, hear my prayer.
Drenched in vengeance or bathed in glory?
If I shall die tomorrow, take me now,
For I stand a small boy in a mad world.
And salvation's gates are barred—but wait!
I hear a hymn of hope in the swirling mist.
So let it be known
That while we live, albeit weakly,
With blind eyes and deafened ears–
Which one would you live with?–
We will talk of horror stories,
And chant songs of mortality.
For one phrase stands in war: