The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

The Jewish Conscript

(There are nearly a quarter of a million Jews in the Czar's army alone. -- Newspaper clipping.)

They have dressed me up in a soldier's dress,

With a rifle in my hand,

And have sent me bravely forth to shoot

My own in a foreign land.

Oh, many shall die for the fields of their homes,

And many in conquest wild,

But I shall die for the fatherland

That murdered my little child.

How many hundreds of years ago --

The nations wax and cease! --

Did the God of our fathers doom us to bear

The flaming message of peace!

We are the mock and the sport of time!

Yet why should I complain! --

For a Jew that they hung on the bloody cross,

He also died in vain.

Notes

(There are nearly a quarter of a million Jews in the Czar's army alone. -- Newspaper clipping.)