Here the palace turned to rubble,
The ruined town, the wasted land,
Here the lives cut down to stubble,
Here men were turned to dust and sand.
Here the landless beat at the gates
Before the Beast consumes them;
Those feeding it yawn as they wait
The climax of their Coliseum.
Hear the cries of orphans, widows,
Childless parents, poor and pleading:
“Please, life was undone by foes —
Please, I was someone, now, nothing.”
But the mosques closed and locked their doors.
While even the church tolls its bells,
That all may come who flee the wars
And barter for a worser hell.
Far off lands offer sanctuary,
Neighboring princes shrug away:
They change the channels on TV
To see themselves on Judgement Day.