One Bullet - text

The rain is soaking to my shoulders
Falling soft upon the leaves
Falling on these silent soldiers
Who hide beneath the forest eaves

I can see it in their faces
All the strain and all the fear
Months of war have etched their traces
On the boys who huddle here

Our leaders order us as cattle
And beat our plowshares into swords
Thus we gird our young for battle
And fill their minds with empty words

But not for those who give the orders
Any place in this charade
Safe behind their chartered borders
Not for them the grim parade

Knuckles whitening, faces paling
Hope that withers with the dark
Hands that falter, courage failing
Waiting for the cannon's bark

For yesterday I sent their brothers
Scrambling up this hill to die
The day before that, were the others
Who yet on the meadow lie

I watched them as the battle closes
Amidst the carnage and the din
Seen their wounds like deadly roses
Blooming crimson on their skin

I've heard them coughing as they stumble
For their moaning as they lie
Heard frightened prayer turn to mumbles
And final silence as they die

The dead lie in their awkward slumber
Having answered glory's call
Lying scattered beyond number
Piled like cordwood by the wall

And as for me I'm sick of sending
These frightened boys to butchery
I swear that when this day is over
There'll be one bullet left for me

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