Tag Archives: 19th.century history

Lamentations

Lemonade on the verandah after supper,
discussing Rousseau and Voltaire
before retiring to the soft embrace
of an easy langour;

Expecting tomorrow and its harvest
of promise,the lush savannah
the tall sheaves and sturdy horses,
and yet that tomorrow never came;

No matter how much we believed
and what we believed was enough,
but what they believed was much more,
we recall with wounding monotony
those men of honour
whose sabres broke too soon,
those chivalric figures whose
steeds wearied in the long campaign;

We recall those shards of splendour smashed,
held captive in museum-cased aspic,
marble,ballroom,chandelier,satin,lace,and
the haunting echo of a terpsichorean melody
vanished and gone into The Wilderness;

Mene mene tekel upharsin
those heirs of promise,
weighted in the balance
and found wanting;

The visions of Daniel,
the words of Ezekiel,
prophetic and predestined,
and…

Lemonade on the verandah after supper,
discussing Rousseau and Voltaire
before awakening to
the dawn of a new day,
resplendent,
Confederate
and grey.

LAMENTATIONS can be read at www.destinypoets.co.uk

Posted by Louis Kasatkin on Saturday, 5 August 2017

Waterloo

Two and a half miles square ,
five hundred Guns ;
the Black ,the Red ,the White,the Blue ,
sixty thousand Horses ;
bloodied ,torn and tattered ,
two hundred thousand Men ;
gouged by grapeshot ,gored by bayonet ,
fifty-five thousand killed or wounded ;
Their calvaries caused one-fifth from cannon-fire
one-fifth slashes from sabres ,
three-fifths due to small arms fire ;
Amid the visceral deluge ,
one hundred and eighty field surgeons
cut flesh with large capital amputation knives ,
divided bone with a saw
then tied off individually all the arteries ,
all in a few minutes,fifteen at most ;
Eager to forestall the inevitability of gangrene ,
innumerably they waited in line ,
some assuaged by small doses of cordial of spirits and water ,
and if lucky some opium or laudanum ;
though often ragged Redcoated Hector and Achilles
gouged by grapeshot ,gored by bayonet ,
fainted from the sights of that Abattoir ;
Two and a half miles square ,
fifty-five thousand men
tattered ,torn and bloodied and
flesh cut with large capital amputation knives.