A fire was burning at the city's edge.
It seeped into the underground
and fed the twisted strands
of passion, forthright in its zeal at first
and then like starving roots content
to feed upon the warmth of pabulum,
of mindless glory in patria, even
as the fatherland grew strong,
consumed all insight held secure.
A leader came that night
(for day was too intense, too bright
to bless the sleep of practiced dream)
and priestlike, signed upon their heads
the cross of victory and conquest—
as the sheep he led heard him proclaim
that war will not forsake the nations of the earth
but gather them together in its flaming arms,
and in the name of God.