Among these men there exists a brotherhood, a union,
That is closed to others not having walked their path.
Those who were not friends, and perhaps not friends still,
Are joined in bonds that beggar explanation.
No man can join who has not paid those awful dues,
And none that have would commend to another membership.
How can such close bonds be so lonely, or,
How does such awfulness contain both sorrow and elation?
Other see this camaraderie and think themselves cheated,
Yet they fear to walk the path these men have trod.
Forged in fires men called hell, hammered with shot and shell,
Cemented with blood, mud, and mind numbing fear.
Comrades in arms, these are not the words they would choose,
Were some honest phrase or term to be found.
Language, like their solitary vigil, keeping thoughts inexplicable,
False glory, honest horrors shared, yet still alone.
Into their midst the betraying politico cannot enter,
Though they risked those men’s lives, trust, and sacred honor.
The chaplain cannot undo the bond, nor overcome the lie,
It did not deliver men’s souls from the justice of a righteous God.
United for peace, freedom, some high ideal forgotten,
Slogans and mottoes lost meaning twixt tales of life and death.
Lost companions missing, all the follies of men abandoned,
Thoughts of living and dead known to the Lord.
Walker von Krieg
Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swoon’d nor utter’d cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
“She must weep or she will die.”
Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.
Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stepped,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.
Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee-
Like summer tempest came her tears-
“Sweet my child, I live for thee.”
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113