“And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered; the weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.”
The Soldier’s Dream – Thomas Campbell (1909)
Civilizations have grown and so they have fallen. This is the bitter truth of our planet which has seen its fair share of civilization since the first settlers settled on its brazen land. The times couldn’t have been rougher. The world couldn’t have been destroyed more. For the basic instinct of mankind ultimately lead to its demise. But the will to survive in face of such adversity is what separates us from other living things.
The war was almost over by then. A finite struggle that dragged until infinity. Almost five months of agony, five months of struggle. The news couldn’t have come at better time for it sure seemed like a storm was coming. But on that night, the sky was beautiful, as beautiful as the night can be. Shimmering stars, floating clouds. The veil of night finally lowering on the harshness of the sun in that scorched land.
I saw around me, soldiers falling to the ground, my brothers tired, sinking on the ground. Their heads were heavy with the loss we had incurred, for the reason was absurd for the war but yet we all took the guard and went to war. Right then, all I saw were wounded soldiers falling to the ground, licking their pride. I didn’t needed any kind of reminders for my insignificance in this great world. The dying land and black sky did that rather nice on its own.
Did we won? Did we lost? They weren’t the questions I asked myself back then, even if we had won I had lost more brothers than I could possibly count. If we lost, we still won for the sufferings were over.
William Wordsworth wrote in his poem The World is Too Much With Us, “The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; little we see in Nature that is ours; we have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”
But on that night, I didn’t dreamt the nightmare I had been living in for so long, on that starry night, I’d a nice dream, dream of home, of my wife, of my child.