The Unknown Soldier
I went out in the dark tonight
and through the night, I strode
down where the yellow lamplight
makes pale circles on the road
and I walked out past the faces,
empty, in an empty land
through a thousand empty places
where the ghosts of trees still stand.
I walked down beside the river
where the great ships used to call
and the cold wind made me shiver
and the rain began to fall.
I crossed the bridge, it fell behind me
and I watched the timbers burn.
father, if you ever find me,
I meant never to return.
I dipped my hand into the water
and it came out red with blood
and I heard a soldier's daughter
tell me no one understood.
I heard voices raised in anger,
and the dying corpses groan
and I saw my face, a stranger,
and my hands were not my own.
In my arms there was a baby,
at my feet there was a child,
at my side there was a lady
and her eyes were black and wild.
But the blood was on my fingers
and my sword was at my side
and the taste of death still lingers
like the veil before a bride.
Take this child, I cannot hold her
take this baby from my arms,
for I am the unknown soldier
and I seek Athena's charms.
In the field, a million crosses
stand like scarecrows in the ground
and while victors count their losses
I disappear without a sound.