Winter in Wartime
The ostentatious sun shines cheerlessly,
The weary wind breathes sadly and swiftly past
A souless sigh amidst the bare, brown trees.
A restless rook - forlorn in raggedness,
Eyes with uneasy glance the ground below
Where squads of soldiers - drab in khaki dress,
March quickly down the empty winding road:
Their cheerful voices fill the frosty air.
Iron shod - their boots ring loud and clear.
They pass - not knowing in their wantoness,
that they disturb my solitude.
How many lands there are where this same ring
of iron feet upon the cobblestones
Disturbs the solitude and peace of men!
Cruel feet they are that trample and subdue,
Cruel, ruthless feet which crush the pleading hands
Until the starving people turn in wretchedness
To strike the trampler down! One more accursed
Foe to be avenged an hundred fold!
And so these blood-caked, iron feet tramp on.
But loudly swells the mumur of Revenge,
For Hope still lives within their aching hearts.
They know that Right will bloom again for them.
That Justice, Truth and Freedom will prevail
When this, the wartime’s winter shall have passed.
[Editor’s note: The poem is from the letter of November 17, 1941.]