Apology of the Old Balt, England 1989

A very different place and time
From where young girls now speak of crime,
Yes, I was there, on the eastern front,
You can call me whatever kind of a - cur,
I played the part of devil in hell,
I accept my guilt and I bear it well.
In civil war you need to know
How hate is born and hate can grow.
You whose mind is bubble and fizz,
In talking of war, do you know what it is?
Its matter is killing by steel and fire,
This includes children, dam and sire;
You kill on the ground, or you kill from the air,
Here you see what you kill but you don't see there;
Those you kill, are clearly defined
As belonging to a separate part of mankind.
In national war the enemy is he
Whom the national state declares him to be;
In civil war there is no such state,
But felt injustice, and vengeful hate.
The foe once picked, it is fight to the death,
We give no quarter, nor pause for breath.
Our friends are those who help our fight,
Success of the cause is our standard of right.
The matter of killing is agony of pain
A searing torment infests the brain.
To those who exist in such a place
Life presents a different face
From what those see on a distant shore,
Who prate of justice and crimes of war.
The soldier who is called to arms
Must harden, and suppress his qualms;
These things but vary by degree.
Listen, you who preach at me,
If yours were lesser, are we to blame?
The wars we fought were not the same.
There are, I tell you, times at which
Hate is inflamed to delirium pitch.
When abominable doctrine stalks the land
Killing your fellows out of hand,
Hitting back becomes the purpose of life
And the soul reverts to the mode of strife.
By comparison, the war your grandpa fought,
With all its rules, was a playful sport.

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