The soldiers watched nervously,
As the enemy came into sight.
For some, this would be their first battle,
And for others, it would be their last.
As the enemy continued towards them,
Fearful whispers filled the air,
Until that moment, they hadn't realized
Just how greatly outnumbered they were.
From atop his horse, the General watched
The enemy's approach, with growing apprehension.
He knew that their chances of surviving,
Were slim at best, but they had to try.
"They'll kill us all."
He heard someone moan from within the ranks
Turning, he glared sternly at the speaker,
Who cowered under his gaze.
"Well then," he said softly,
"We'll just have to take as many with us as we can."
Kicking his horse into motion,
The General rode to the front of the line.
"I will not lie to you," he began
As his eyes scanned their faces,
"It is likely that many of us will not survive this battle.
But," he continued, silencing the murmurs that arose,
"Our sacrifice shall allow others to live,
And I can think of no better way to die."
Finishing his speech, he watched as their expressions
Changed from fearful to determined. They would fight,
And though they wouldn't win,
They would hold the line as long as possible.
Raising his hand, the General took one last look at those under his command,
Many of whom he would never see again,
Then he dropped his hand, signaling the attack.
As one, the soldiers charged towards the enemy
And soon the air was filled with the screams of the dying.
Throughout the day the battle raged on,
And the defenders numbers slowly dwindled
Their blood staining the grass red.
As night fell the General lay on the ground,
The life slowly draining out of him
The fight had been long and hard
And most of his men were now dead,
As soon he would be.
Closing his eyes for the last time, the General smiled,