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Fifth Wreath

Music of reds and crimsons, battle on.
Continue calling out until the seven
thousand men and boys slaughtered like cattle on
this green hill, in crass insult to blue heaven,
breed children’s children’s children, to change all
to change revenge: until revenge is even
against revenge. Sing on, until revenge’ll
take vengeance on itself, take eye for eye
no more: until each flower becomes an angel –
no longer seeding, breeding here to die
in dignified remembrance, apt memorial,
bleeding into these Balkan hills and sky –
and do not seal your silent lips until
red stands for more than their avenging will.

Richard Burns

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