Stanza 78


Then the lieutenant gave a full report
Explaining why he felt he must resort
To violence to thwart the threats they heard.
The colonel listened to what had occurred
And asked the sergeant, "what words did he use?
I must be sure that we do not confuse
The threats with what we only think he said."
The E5 answered, "Sir, the boy who's dead
Yelled loud and clear, 'I'll kill the lot of you!
Your mothers' dismal mourning will ensue.
When I am done they will not recognize
The bits of bloody flesh before their eyes.
I hope you supplicated at the dawn,
Because your souls by noon prayers will be gone!'"
The colonel listened to the sergeant's tale
And let his softer sentiments prevail.
"At ease, marines. You both may take a seat.
We need to find a way to cool the heat
That makes emotion rule the peoples' hearts,
And then insure their enmity departs."