He saw the man, he saw the camp,
He heard the threat and death.
With twisted lips he walked the heights,
Looking with laboured breath
‘Round the valley cloaked in mist
And thousand stars bright lit.
He held his breath and turned away
And down the hill he wept.
Past sentry’s post and comrade’s tent
He crept in dead of night,
And from the pickets loosed a horse
And fled before first light.
With dawn’s red glow, a tidal wave
Flowing o’er hill and hold
Came death to make that red look light
And coward’s actions bold.
Said not a word as flee the day,
A scarf ‘round head was tied.
No look nor prayer tossed back to men
Whose fate it was to die.
He fled his death, but never could
He flee his memories:
‘Twas he that killed those men, and when
He reached that far-flung sea,
There Death did find him in the depths
Where sought he to be free.
He could have cried, a single call
Would bring aid to his side,
But in silence he killed his friends,
And in silence he died.