Tell the Senate
Today seems a fairly quiet day on the mailing list, so I shall delurk. I'm a new citizen, as of this past week. I'm also a retired US Marine Master Sergeant, and a few other things.
I wrote this yesterday, inspired by the approach of the US Memorial Day on Monday. It calls up a vision that is both Roman and timeless. I know that Nova Roma spans the world, and many political pursuasions, I hope that the sentiment here reaches across them all.
'Tell the Senate'
Far from the Tiber, on a windswept plain where the Sun shines dim and cold, there is a place that is forever Roman.
Under the solemn watching mountain peaks, in a place where hostile wills once clashed in awful conflict, lies a quiet place where the survivors buried the mortal remains of their companions and their foes.
- Those whose bodies were pierced by steel, and who breathed their last as the battle raged around them.
- Those who were crushed beneath the awful engines of war.
- Those who burned in the fires, fighting as long as air remained for breath.
- Those who fell on their swords, rather than be taken captive.
- Those who, having survived the horrors of the day, died of wounds and blood loss in the night.
Three granite slabs mark out the boundary of the hallowed ground, each carved deep by hands intent on making a message for the ages.
- On the first marker, Thucydides' words:
- "Having done what men should do, they suffered as men must."
- On the second marker, Simonedes:
- "Stranger passing by
- Tell the Senate where we lie.
- Obedient to their will."
- And on the last, simply:
- PACE TACET
The piece presented here is my original composition, though it draws heavily from a story I co-wrote two years ago. As such, I should acknowledge the inspiration of my friend Greg Baker, who introduced me to Colleen McCullough's books and provided much of the imagery which now reappears in my prose above, including the classical quotations.