Hence by the Buddhists, in counting the corses
Heaping with horror the death-trampled plain,
Not unremembered are thousands of horses,
Left unattended to die with the slain.
What did war seem to these poor, driven cattle?
What was their part in the horrible fray
Save to be shot in the fury of battle,
Or from exhaustion to fall by the way?
Dragging huge guns over rocks and through mire,
Trembling with weakness, yet straining each nerve,
Fated at last in despair to expire,
Uncomprehending, yet willing to serve!
Nothing to them were the hopes of a nation;
“Czar” and “Mikado” were meaningless sounds;
None of the patriot’s deep inspiration
Softened the agony caused by their wounds.
Not for these martyrs the skill of physician,
Ether for anguish or lint for a wound;
Theirs but to lie in their crippled condition,
Thirsting and starving on shelterless ground.
Hail to these quadrupeds, dead without glory!
Honor to him who their valor reveres!
Spare to these heroes, unmentioned in story,
Something of sympathy, something of tears.
Into my garden sweet and fair
Brightly the sun at noonday shines,
Melting the frost from the wintry air,
Warming the trellis of leafless vines.
Basking there in the genial heat,
South of my sheltering vineyard wall,
Strolling, I dream in my lov’d retreat,—
The smile of the sun-god over all.
Far too early a shadow dark,
Cast by the neighboring mountain’s crest,
Stealthily creeps across the park,
Bringing a chill from the sombre west.
Little by little my sunlit space
Shrinks to a narrowing path of light;
Further and further with dread I trace
The sure advance of approaching night.
Soon will arrive its twilight pall;
Then, as the potent change is felt,
The fountain’s drops will cease to fall
And feathery films refuse to melt.
But still in the solar warmth I wait,
The hand of my lov’d one clasped in mine;
Is that a tear? It is growing late,
And she asks how long the sun will shine.
O joyous idler in the sun,
In pity slacken here thy pace!
A lad, whose course is nearly run,
Is watching thee with wistful face.
The glow of health upon thy cheek,
The youthful ardor in thy gait,
Appear to him, so frail and weak,
The bitter irony of Fate.
Thou art to him the vision fair
Of all he once had hoped to be;
What wonder, then, that in despair
His longing glances follow thee?
Let not the gulf too deep appear
Between thy fortune and his own!
Thou didst not see that falling tear,
Nor hear his low, half-stifled moan.