Trenches, Western Front, Christmas 1914
by NeferMaatNetjer on December 11, 2005. Â© All rights reserved
On a cold and terrible night, In a field in Western France
while fingers twitched on triggers, waiting for the chance
to kill young men from another land, for a cause so misbegotten
two armies waited in deadly silence, peace so long forgotten.
Over the grim battlefield, where death so often danced
young eyes under helmets peeked, and high above them glanced
a single bright star, like an eye of God, glimmering in the night
and soon all eyes were upon it, and they forgot about the fight
The silence of the trenches was broken with a shock
not from a screaming mortar shell, but a chorus of "Stille Nacht".
To which the British answered, as not to be outdone
by singing "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen", each and every one!
The Germans then responded, not with a battle cry
but "Adeste, Fideles" rose into the crisp, night sky
to which the British, whom once the Germans hated
sang the same song back to them, with English words translated.
A lone, brave German soldier from the trenches stood
and offered the English chocolate, schnapps, and other goods
a British soldier, seeing this, laid down his bayonet
and went up to the German, with tea and cigarettes
Before long, the guns were unmanned, and in the middle mingled
Germans, French, and Englishmen, while sledding bells jingled
the war seemed all but over, hate and death did yield
to the blessings of Christmas, in a war-torn, trench-scarred field
the "Christmas Truce" was brief to last, for in far too short of time,
The troops went back to fighting, and dying in the grime,
But for a brief and shining moment, that winter of 1914,
the love of God brought a break in the war, and all was calm and serene.