Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Slaughter in the deep of the Forest

9 AD, Magna Germania, September

Rome had sent a call
From its heart to the empire's frontier
For men from across that world
To come
Come serve in the legions
Stifle the barbarian prayers
And become a Roman
By service
Few of us were of the blood
Of those who marched
For the Republic
But I would not question their allegiance
Only the reason and wisdom
Of the empire
To arm those who had formerly
Taken arms against her
But that was not my decision
No, not mine at all
For I am a soldier of Rome
And I live to answer
The call
In the days of September
Our destiny was prime
To die
For Rome
We were as sheep to a slaughter
Not innocent perhaps
But naive as to our fate
We were led to the region
Held by Germanic tribes
With an intent to bring to their knees
Every warrior, woman and child
General Publius Quinctilius Varus
He of aristocratic blood
Was the most cruel
And never question this
He died of his own hand
While his men were hunted
Like animals of the wild
The Teutoburg Forest
Swallowed all of Rome's pride
And sucked down our finest
We were the gracious fruit
Of the vine poured out
Upon the forest floor
The vintage of youth
The gift of time
And nothing was left
For us
But to flee
Ignobly as it were
From Germania
Few survived
Few remembered
And Rome had reached a place
Of descent
Forever trying to stop the bleeding
Without knowing how to do so
Without realizing
All of its dreams were spent

Turn winter in Germania
Now our bodies
And dried
The leaves covered
And snow blankets
By spring our skeletons rattle
In the empty armor
We wore to the ambush
And never
Returned in victory
Dulce bellum inexpertis