Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Chains Opened my Eyes

They nearly won without a shot from a gun
I woke in a rush to the sentry's screams
As the tragedy had begun
My unit was ambushed
In our night camp
With great loss
Most were killed
Before seeing the morning sun
The enemy attacked
In the veil of the night
They'd killed silently
With cutlass and sabre
Efficiently, quietly
As if guided by hate
They killed the minister
They slew the missioner
Then homed in
Upon the tents
Of our guardsmen
Knowing without them
The Colony's nationals
Would flee
Those of us who fought well
Were surrounded and taken prisoner
Those who were dazed and slow to rise
Were killed before they could fight
Our defenses had been insecure
We were utterly destroyed
If it were a ship
The captain would be brought
Before a court and high commissioner
Judged guilty and executed
By the King's executioner
As the sole surviving officer
I was taken before the leader
Of the dervish enemy
Was placed in chains
I was forced to bow
Like a slave and was beaten
As badly as any master
Would beat his unrepentant slave
Who had attempted a midnight escape
My men received equal beatings
I vowed upon my return
I'd free slaves
Fight to end the practise
Because once humbled in chains
And beaten, and crushed in spirit
One recognizes the hideous
The odious practise
That depends upon such hate
As forever staining
Our name
As human