The battle rages, the armour flashes,
Bronze canons roar,
Regiments charge, horses gallop by
And red rivers flow.
Midday burns and men still fight;
The sun sinks low, yet the battle rages ever more;
Twilight fades, yet enemies are locked
More violently, more fiercely in conflict.
Night falls on the field of battle.
Legions disperse in the darkness…
All is calm, and in the darkness of night
Groans rise up to the sky.
And then, in the moonlight,
On her warhorse,
Her white bones shining brightly,
Death appears; and in the silence,
Listening to the groans and prayers
With pride and pleasure,
She bestrides the field of battle
Like a field marshal.
From atop of a mound she looks around,
Stops and smiles…
And across the war-torn plain
Rings the sound of her fateful voice:
‘The battle is over! I have vanquished you all!
You have all surrendered before me, ye warriors!
Life set you at odds, but I have reconciled you!
Stand to attention for review, ye dead!
March by in solemn procession,
I wish to account for my troops;
Then lay down your bones in the earth,
And rest sweetly rest, life’s labours down!
The years will pass by imperceptibly,
And you will slip from the memory of the living.
Yet I will not forget you and will host
A banquet at midnight over your bones!
The heavy tread of my dance will trample down
The moist earth, so that your bones may never more
Escape the fastness of the grave,
So that you may never more rise from the grave!’