Paths of Glory

First the thunderheads of stormy statesmen,
Their voices sparking terror to our fear,
Then lofty slogans: Honor! Country! Valor!
From public servants, skillfully sincere.
What heart so dead to patriotic duty
As not to be aroused by these fierce charms?
The Masters in their grace have shared their vision,
And common folk must heed their call to arms.
And so we go, because our country says so,
Because it is a risk we have to take.
Nobody says we bleed for others’ profit,
Or tells us that we die for a mistake.
Now killing fields grow green as earth grows crimson,
And victims fall by thousands (but alone).
The Masters praise the sacrifice (of others):
The world we die for is the world they own.

Philip Appleman

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