Tuesday, October 10, 2006

'RHYMES OF A RED CROSS MAN"

I am not well educated, but I do have a good memory.
I am trying to remember if the U.S. has ever invaded a country and built a Democracy.
I don't think liberating Europe counts.
WE have a Memorial for the roughly 58,000 lost in Vietnam.
There is no memorial in Vietnam for the 1.3 Million Vietnamese that lost their lives.
This doesn't count the 2-4 million estimated Vietnam civilians.
Seems like we are involved in a fairly sorry War in Iraq.
I hear Kissinger is advising the Administration.
YARR, GENIUS!

The Call
(France, August first, 1914)

Far and near, high and clear,
Hark to the call of War!
Over the gorse and the golden dells,
Ringing and swinging of clamourous bells,
Praying and saying of wild farewells:
War! War! War!

High and low, all must go:
Hark to the shout of War!
Leave to the women the harvest yield;
Gird ye men for the sinister field;
A sabre instead of a scythe to wield:
War! War! War!

Rich and poor, lord and boor,
Hark to the blast of War!
Tinker and tailer and millionaire,
Actor in triumph and priest in prayer,
Comrades now in the hell out there,
Sweep to the fire of War!

Prince and page, sot and sage,
Hark to the roar of War!
Poet, professor and circus clown,
Chimney-sweeper and fop o' the town,
Into the pot and be melted down:
Into the pot of War!

Women all, hear the call,
The pitiless call of War!
Look your last on your dearest ones,
Brothers and husbands, fathers, sons:
Swift they go to the ravenous guns,
The gluttonous guns of War.

Everywhere thrill the air,
The maniac bells of War.
There will be little of sleeping to-night;
There will be wailing and weeping to-night;
Death's red sickle is reaping to-night;
War! War! War!

Robert Service

8 comments:

Old Lady said...

Timeless, don't you think?

kissyface said...

did you ever see Erroll Morris' doc on Robert McNamara, The Fog of War? Rent it if you're interested in war history, esp. 'Nam. It's really well done, like all of Morris' work.

kissyface said...

Also, much as I love my country, and as little as I like to play devil's advocate, I'm not always sure we built a true democracy here, either (much like the accusations of failed communism - they all immediately fell into one state of totalitarianism or another. Not that I'm drawing an extreme comparison, but even the original Democracy - Athens, was only for the privileged). We are a Republic, after all.

steve said...

Yes, I have seen it but only once. Films like that are meant to be viewed several times and will have to look at it again.
Old lady, I see Stephen King on your reading list and soon I will have to write about "Hearts in Atlantis".

Mother of Invention said...

Robert Service? Canadian is he not?

steve said...

yes!!! He is Canadian... I became interested in him after becoming interested in the Yukon gold rush after reading "Journey' by James Michener-- one thing just leads to another, no?

Mother of Invention said...

Being a Canadian, we always studied "The Cremation of Sam McGee" which I always liked!

steve said...

WELL IF I DON'T STOP LEAVING LINKS EVERYWHERE I GO I MIGHT DEVELOPE A NASTY REPUTATION BUT
http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/2640/?letter=C&spage=26
IS SO WELL WORTH IT!