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The Slain

In ancient times a certain poet wrote
A mighty poem of a dreadful war:
The corpses on the battlefield will bloat
Until their comrades take that ground once more.
The gashes that the spears and arrows tore
Are here described in detail — every kill;
The splattered brains, the lifeless eyes, the gore,
The clattering armour — all flow from his quill.
The flower of youth all bloodied, wrecked and still;
Their beauty lost upon the hallowed plain
That lies before the city on the hill.
A catalogue of courage, death, and pain,
Yet not a tome where war is glorified —
A tale of love — of men — and how they died.

— D.N. O’Brien