I Feel the Ghost
by Bev F.
A poem about Horatio's musings as he sails away from Musillac. Hope you
Feel the Ghost
I stand and watch the land 'twixt sea and sky
Dwindle away, and then wink out, and try
Somehow the nightmare to revoke.
An army sent - a mad buffoon - a fool
Who shouted "Vive le Roi" - the king must rule,
And waged his war on simple folk.
A bridge to hold - I saw my duty clear.
They say all France will rise, so do not fear.
And yet one man does raise his voice
In patriotic song. A freedom sought
For simple dignity - met with a shot.
He gives his life, has made his choice.
All France will rise? When here a ghoulish scene -
The silver glint, the swish of guillotine?
When liberators wish you dead?
And as Republic soldiers near the gate,
A manic leader, blind to his own fate -
Of more import - a baker's head.
I glimpsed a life enriched in this new place -
A France where peasants now may turn their face
And seek egalite's warm glow.
A girl whose past meant only servitude;
Yet now to children's minds provide the food
Allowing hearts and souls to grow.
My loss? Two cannon and six men - that's all.
But this is war - guns fail and men do fall.
I do not speak the hardest part.
A gentle smile, a strand of flaxen hair.
And then the hand of death on beauty fair.
On field of battle lies my heart.
The winds blow strong - a bell rings out, all's well.
The ship sails o'er the ocean's friendly swell.
I muse on duty, and the host
Of lives that in the name of war have fled;
Of dreams that ebbed as earthly bodies bled.
I stand and watch - and feel the ghost.