The very earth turned bitter beneath the plodding feet
As the drums and trumpets sounded the lament of retreat.
The very skies were ashen and the rivers ceased to flow,
The bending backs were lifeless and the pock-marked heads hung low.
Each man was naught but shadow in a swirl of drifting snow
And the pounding heart within him meant for less than he could know.
The figures moved before him and the ghosts tramped loud behind
As the curse of dreams decaying bore its cancer of the mind.
Now the very heavens weep, convulse and rack and churn,
That men who lived such noble lives became interred in turn.
How absurdity and irony find true refinement here –
That brave young Gods should fall in war with none to shed a tear.