Hark! how the Orient’s bells are proclaiming
Obsequies strange to the shrines of the west–
Services Christendom’s cruelties shaming–
Taught by the merciful, Buddha the blest.
Peace on Manchuria’s plains has descended;
Tall waves the grass where the chivalrous bled;
Murder and massacre finally ended,
Sadly the living remember their dead.
Requiem masses and prayers without number
Plead for the souls of the Muscovite brave,
While of the Japanese, wrapt in death’s slumber,
Tender memorials honor each grave.
But in Gautama’s compassionate teaching
Love is not limited merely to man;
Kindness to animals formed in his preaching
No less a part of his merciful plan.
Hence by the Buddhists, in counting the corses
Heaping with horror the death-trampled plain,
Not unremembered are thousands of horses,
Left unattended to die with the slain.
What did war seem to these poor, driven cattle?
What was their part in the horrible fray
Save to be shot in the fury of battle,
Or from exhaustion to fall by the way?
Dragging huge guns over rocks and through mire,
Trembling with weakness, yet straining each nerve,
Fated at last in despair to expire,
Uncomprehending, yet willing to serve!
Nothing to them were the hopes of a nation;
“Czar” and “Mikado” were meaningless sounds;
None of the patriot’s deep inspiration
Softened the agony caused by their wounds.
Not for these martyrs the skill of physician,
Ether for anguish or lint for a wound;
Theirs but to lie in their crippled condition,
Thirsting and starving on shelterless ground.
Hail to these quadrupeds, dead without glory!
Honor to him who their valor reveres!
Spare to these heroes, unmentioned in story,
Something of sympathy, something of tears.
(John Lawson Stoddard)
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Based on Keywords: shaming, reveres, corses, shelterless, muscovite, uncomprehending, gautama, quadrupeds, mikado, unmentioned, manchuria