O Leader of this Great Country
by john wunjo
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This is a satirical take-off of Walt Whitman's O Captain! My Captain!
addressed to President Bush months
before his attack on Iraq began.
O Leader of this Great Country!
O Captain! my Captain! Your test of war's begun,
Our ship has weathered first attack! We'll fight till the game is won,
Though costs be dear, death knells we hear, your people are exulting,
Their eyes fixed on your steady keel, your grim planes and warships daring;
But Leader who flies!
See those bleeding drops of red!
There on the ground one soldier lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Leader! my Leader! take strength from ringing bells;
Drive on!--for you will hang our flag--for war our eagle shrills,
For you bouquets and victory wreaths on foreign shores, send tidings,
For you they call, their swaying masses shout grateful simple greetings;
Hear Leader! dear Father!
Death cries of soldiers led
To fight for us in foreign lands
Who've fallen cold and dead.
O Leader! Please answer them, their lips are pale and still,
Our brothers cannot feel your tears, they have no pulse or will,
Their ship of state's anchored half way round the world their work is done,
From fearful trip victory's ship come home your first great war is won;
Exult of Leader! and ring those bells!
While we with mournful tread
Walk the deck where brothers' shells
Are coffined cold and dead.
Cavern of Sorrow