In What We've Done We Take the Greatest Shame

Music: Pieces en Concert -- Prelude, La Tromba, Air de Diable.
By Francois Couperin.
Performed by The Advent Chamber Orchestra at the Free Music Archive
under a Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license.

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Nicholas Gordon

In what we've done we take the greatest shame.
Nothing that was done to us excuses it.
Despite the evil of our enemies,
Evil never justifies more evil,
Perhaps because it never leads to good.
Each tortured prisoner pollutes our name.
None has unchecked power but abuses it.
Defying friends, ignoring verities,
Embracing our illusions without scruple,
Now we must repent, as well we should.
Conquerors must always take the blame.
Each rules ruthlessly its state or loses it.
Demons overran our conquerees
As we washed our hands of our debacle,
Yielding to what washed our dreams in blood.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.

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