April 2, 2020

Description: Couplets of the iambic pentameter, grouped in six triple sets of ABABCC in full and feminine rhyme, in a story arc that is antithetical to the false glory of warfare.


Thrum the drum of marching feet

Rank and file in step astride

Thrum forbye an air of feat

‘twixt a flag and flag they ride

Proud they leave a hearth and wife

To serve the land in soldier life


Up they go on mountain harsh

Down below a filthy trench

Marching in a ghastly marsh

Writhing in the stench of wrench

All were fighting for their nation

All were sent to their damnation


Hungry, worn, but sing of brawn

Of country strong, of ruler brave

Dressed in rags and health foregone

None but them shall know their grave

No man, no king, no god they serve

Only Death shall them observe


Mortar, guns, and throwing flame

Mud in ash in endless blight

Gouging eyes and feet left lame

Hewn asunder, burnt alight

Whence the haze of gas doth harrow

forlorn is kin and skin and marrow


Some, the dead, were fed the pyre

built of bone, of bile, of blood

Some, alive, can yet respire

yet flow of woe and gloom’s their flood

No lass to hug their rotting flesh

Alone, in shock, to twist, to thresh


Now silent falls a land so gray

though shines the sun of welkin noon

Piled, the festered on the dray,

the weary march, the weary swoon

And such will end their tale of gore

But all is fine; they won some war.

Posted by: Faiq Habash

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