A hollow wind in a solemn land
Steals a tortured, dying breath,
Lifting it to the whipping air away,
To and from another death.
And tears of fire mingle with tears of sorrow.
Screaming shells—grim, metallic, hollow—
Rip tree and earth and flesh,
While hopeless, lonely screams are swift to follow.
Broken bones, searing flesh, and melting faces,
Cast in ghastly grins of black and red,
Are regarded, as rivers or red and brown wash away the traces,
While everywhere bullets fly and soldiers die.
And a man, half-rising, asks the simple question "why"
And realizes that he is neither the first nor the last
To ask what glory or profit arises when men die,
Nor will an answer come 'till everyone has passed,
And dust and darkness occupy...