No training, O Lord, but Hate

There were no leaders to lead us to honor.
(What honor, what honor was there?)
Yet without leaders, we gathered
(In the devil, the devil’s own lair).
There were no bugles to sound our rally,
No levy to mark up our tally.
There were no cannon to shield us,
Nor generals were there to wield us;
No training had we to field us,
Except for our numberless hate.
(No training, O Lord, but hate)

There was no glory to battling;
(All glory, O Lord, be thine)
And came no deep drums rattling
To mark out and steady our line.
There were no heroes among us,
For vengeance or honor or fame;
The tides of dim heavens flung us–
(The tides no man may tame)
The circumstance that stung us
No man may turn or blame.

There were no mourners to sing us
Home to our well-earnéd rest.
No angels came down to wing us
(O Lord, at thy behest)
Nor shield-maids to bring us
To feast with the bold and the best.
Unmarked and undefeated,
Our vengeful legions bide.
Our blades rust where they meted
Death and their owners died.
Where men and wolves competed
The carrion buzzards glide.

There are no omens to herald our waking
(All gone to better men).
No prophesies grant us betaking
Life and a new life again,
Nor sight foretell us partaking
The world in building, then.
Yet we shall be there, remaking–
The world beyond all ken.

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