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They slaughtered the beast of democracy
on Lambton Quay today,
and all the old men and politicians
came down to have their say.
Wise they were as they stood in the square
excitedly reading the omens laid bare.

One or two were shaken and pale
at the portents now seen
in the bloody entrails;
a pacifist vomited standing apart
seeing the vision
in the great dying heart.

The cruel knife of truth
slashed freedom quite dead
as old men laughed quietly
and nodded their heads.
The war dogs strained leashes
and savagely barked,
scenting the blood of battles to come;
and the youth of our country
buttoned their tunics
and collected their guns.

Laughing and joking old men walked away,
to tell all their tales in the dim RSA.
All the young men marched in ranks down the street,
no bugles or drums or flowers at their feet,
just mothers and lovers in darkened doorways,
crying and calling as the boys went away.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR


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