Laughter lingered in the cold night air,
Like snowflakes caught in crystal glass,
Voices shouted, and tears were wept,
For the lost, returned, for memories kept,
For days we feared would never pass,
Those long, long nights of sad aware.
Bright flames flashed from torches high,
Like sunbeams dazed in sea waves dance,
Trumpets sang, and tunes were played,
For the joy, restored, the reckoning paid,
With broken hearts and bloodied lance,
Heavy price we paid, but we all knew why.
Banners waved like a crimson sea,
Whipped by winds of a mighty gale,
Toasts were made and glasses filled,
For the struggle won, for all those killed,
By bomb, by flame, machine gun hail,
Who fought for us, for our right to be.
Boots on stone shook city walls,
Like drums of gods in victory songs,
Engines hummed, our planes swept past,
For one last time, this flight their last,
Their courage to us all belongs,
That sung will be in hallowed halls.
But then an old man, grey and bent,
Like a lion, old, on distant plain,
Rose slowly straight with upraised hand,
From which there poured a silent sand,
Who said, “This war is won, this dragon slain,
But cursed are we to new torment.”
Then to dreadful shapes he did transform,
As silence sapped our will to speak,
Now like a banker, now like a fiend,
Then merchants who on death were weened,
Corruption foul did make them reek,
Their greed seemed that of locust swarm.
Through shifting shapes he led our eyes,
From present wrongs to future woes,
Then changed again, with grizzled hair,
To show us scenes of life right fair,
Where no one slaves and no one owes,
We knew that all he said was wise.
“This,” said he, “can all be yours,
But the fight is hard and always long,
Though by you slain, they shall return,
So long we sleep and never learn,
That endless greed and endless wrong,
Make endless crime and endless wars.”
Then from us, he turned, he walked away,
And left us to our darkened night,
Our joy now tinged with feelings sad,
Yet sure of what we knew we had,
For we had fought for what was right,
For what was won the 9th of May.