Colin F. Jones

WE WHO SERVE

Subordinate rank establishes military power,
At great cost to the moral fibre of the soul:
It’s discipline requiring despotism by the hour
For it is directed by a single will for the whole.
Authority then drives the subalterns forward,
They, who scarcely knowing nor caring why,
Conceal their deformity under ornamental valour,
Exercising no reason; they just do it and die!
One must obsequiously respect the views of the tutor,
In order to progress to a rank he subserves,
Individuality undistinguished in the course of the future
Consecrated by authority that submission preserves.
And a soldier knows nothing of the freedom he fights for,
For his sacrifice denies him the peace he deserves.