Stanza 137


The militant from Lebanon can see
The volunteers are militarily
Not ready for the combat they desire,
And so they practice to direct their fire
Obliquely, to surprise the foreign troops.
The fighters are divided into groups
Each with its own responsibilities,
And from the minaret the Lebanese
Directs each group by calling out commands.
Each group that hears the signals understands
The orders given in the call to prayer
By how he stresses different words and where
His pauses lengthen or constrain the sound.
At first his signals fluster and confound
The men who fail to act the proper way.
But over time, the volunteers display
Proficiency that lets them recognize
What is intended and to exercise
Correct responses. After every drill
The militant critiques their growing skill.