Sunday, December 27

A Belated Merry Christmas, and a timely Happy New Year to you

Alden Nowlan (1933-1983)

In Those Old Wars

In those old wars
Where generals wore yellow ringlets
and sucked lemons at their prayers,
other things being equal
the lost causes were the best.

Lee rode out of history
On his gray horse, Traveller,
so perfect a hero
had he not existed
it would have been necessary to invent him—
war stinks without gallantry.

An aid, one of the few who survived,
told him,
Country be damned, general,
For six months these men
have had no country but you.

They fought barefoot
and drank blueberry tea.

The politicians
strung up Grant
like a carrot,
made him a Merovingian.
They stole everything,
even the coppers from Lincoln’s dead eyes.

In those days, the vanquished
Surrendered their swords like gentlemen,
The victors alone
Surrendered their illusions.
The easiest thing to do for a Cause
is to die for it.


diipo said...

great piece i love the wrap.

but i enjoyed reading the 2nd canto...thanks for sharing.

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