In Nineteen-fourteen Hell unleashed a war,
a brutal nightmare of the modern age;
machinery – which was not thought before
in wildest ‘mares – that cut down like a swage.
The screaming metal; iron; heated lead,
all ramming into flesh and mud alike;
the wire, to catch the errant pup; the head,
ripped off, infernally, by air-borne strike.
From Kipling’s son to magistrate and priest,
a massacre of all the humble ones
initiated by the high-born Least,
commanding – from afar – their awful guns.
The anarchists were given their excuse,
by all the crumbling courage: Marne to Meuse.


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