24 May 2007

the imperial burden

We know that young men and women go to die
in this dumb war, begun for no good reason;
their lives were given for nothing but a lie
but pointing that out is defined as treason.

Wherefore and why we may not now enquire
lest we find ourselves cast in a distant prison;
the problem is we're led by a blatant liar
who on dead backs to greatest heights has risen.

We're told he suffers when he learns the news
of deaths and woundings, daily ever more
arriving in silence; we're told these are the dues
of empire's glory, we have not hearts that soar

at knowing that we're doing our sombre duty
to save the lives of millions, or else to keep
great danger from us; sure there's some booty,
some stolen treasures, our soldier's don't sleep

on the job, they're normal working folk
and, if light-fingered, they've got all the right
that keeping us free from some evil yoke
allows them in the watches of each night.

Our leader knows all this, and suffers long
the pain of seeing others do the dying;
but this will serve to keep the country strong,
and that must justify the death and lying.

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