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The guns of war shot, from the sky,
The brave young songbirds flying by
Who looked down from their Homeric height
And sang their songs in war’s dark night.
A Seeger and a Sorely fell,
An Owen, – Rosenberg as well,
As did a Grenfell, Thomas, West –
And most were young, not far from nest.
Raw Rupert Brooke, too, went away,
As did the Flander’s John McCrae.

They named their killer, named him well,
That War was instrument of hell.
Those poets who, as soldiers served,
Looked up from mud and blood, observed
That War, to men in trenches (graves)
Had rhyme, not reason, for its slaves.
They saw, then paid, the great expense
And knew flung armies made no sense –
Just like poor Owen died a week
Before armistice showed its cheek.
And while his parents heard of this,
The bells were tolling peace and bliss.

The guns of war shot, from the sky,
The brave young songbirds flying by.
And though their brief flight ended there,
Their sweet sad songs still fill the air.

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The war poets named within my poem, with cause of death and a link to one of their poems:

Rupert Brooke died during the war of blood poisoning.
The Soldier – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/the-soldier-by-rupert-brooke/

John McCrae died of pneumonia.
In Flanders Field -https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/in-flanders-fields-by-john-d-mccrae/

Julian Grenfell was killed by shrapnel.
Into Battle – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/into-battle-by-julian-grenfell/

Wilfred Owen was killed on Nov.4.  His parents were told the news as bells on Nov.11 were ringing to celebrate peace.
Miners – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/miners-by-wilfred-owen/

Isaac Rosenberg died in combat on the night of April 1, 1918.
Dead Man’s Dump – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/dead-mans-dump-by-isaac-rosenberg/

Alan Seeger was killed by machine gun fire, July 4, 1916.
I Have A Rendezvous With Death – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/i-have-a-rendezvous-with-death-by-alan-seeger/

Charles Sorley was killed by a German sniper on Oct.13, 1915.
All The Hills And Vales Along – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/all-the-hills-and-vales-along-by-charles-sorley/

Arthur West was shot dead by a sniper’s bullet on April 3, 1917
God! How I Hate You – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/god-how-i-hate-you-young-men-by-arthur-west/

Edward Thomas, “shot clean through the chest”, died in action in 1917.
This Is No Case Of Petty Right Or Wrong – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/this-is-no-case-of-petty-right-or-wrong-by-edward-thomas/

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photo by Michael and Christa Richert at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mfjy8q2/gun+carriage

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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……The War Gave Birth To War

The World War that we sadly now call One
Began with glee from those quite innocent,
The very ones that old men who are done
Send forth as babes to bear the bloody brunt.

The war was grand; it was a glorious thing
For men as knights to go forth and be bold.
And then, great honor due, the praise would ring,
Adorning men like jewels and precious gold.

The tempting siren, Glory, thus deceived,
And millions died, their final whispered cry,
And that of those who were of them bereaved,
Was agonized, a wailing “Why? Oh, WHY?

And when a devil like a hateful horn
Rose out of that same reddened battleground,
Because of sanguine weight of war still borne,
They shuddered at the sudden saber sound.

The Great War was a wound within the mind –
A generation’s blood was yet to dry;
The hearts still grieved; the teeth would sometimes grind –
France and Great Britain, bitten, both were shy.

They ran away from war in full retreat:
Versailles, a cracker broken into crumbs.
At Munich, pen gave land as if defeat,
And Chamberlain declared, “We’ve stilled the drums.”

But Hitler swallowed Poland in a bite
And France was like a feather swept away.
The nations backed from war into the night,
And backed so far, they backed into its day.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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………………To Kosciusko 

‘Tis like thy patient valour thus to keep,
Great Kosciusko, to the rural shade,
While Freedom’s ill-found amulet still is made
Pretence for old aggression, and a heap
Of selfish mockeries. There, as in the sweep
Of stormier fields, thou earnest with thy blade,
Transform’d, not inly alter’d, to the spade,
Thy never yielding right to a calm sleep.
There came a wanderer, borne from land to land
Upon a couch, pale, many-wounded, mild,
His brow with patient pain dulcetly sour.
Men stoop’d with awful sweetness on his hand,
And kiss’d it; and collected Virtue smiled,
To think how sovereign her enduring hour.

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Tadeusz Kosciusko, hero in the Polish rebellion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadeusz_Ko%C5%9Bciuszko

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a sonnet by the same title
that was published Dec.16, 1794.  It can be seen here:

https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/to-kosciusko-by-samuel-taylor-coleridge/

Hunt’s sonnet was published in November of 1815. John Keats also wrote a sonnet with this title and I’ll publish it in a few days.

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