Friday, May 16, 2014

The Grand Lie

Pro patria mori

The witless few who clap and cheer,
The pitiless many who laugh and sneer,
And send sons and daughters to be martyrs
To give their lives for worthless barters.

Pray thee you never have to tell,
Their dear mothers of their last living hell.
War, that cruel game – dreamt by the old,
played by youth, whose bodies are sold

Youth – who live and die and fight,
And watch their youth fade into night.
Who sleep a fitful sleep beneath skies
That burn cruel like a fever that never dies

For all they give, we ask for more,
In this, our headlong match to war.
So smile, you few, who still can
At the folly of the beast called man.

You witless few, who clap and cheer,
You pitiless many who laugh and sneer,
Pray thee, you never come to know,
The hell to which in life and death they go.
Nevermore, except forevermore