A German soldier in his journal wrote: HE was a French Boy Scout—a little lad No bigger than my Hansel. He refused To tell if any of his countrymen Were hidden thereabout. Fifty yards on We ran into an ambush. Well, of course We shot him—little fool! Poor little fool! Thinking himself a hero as he stood Facing our guns, so little and so young Against the sunny vineyard-green, I thought What wasted courage! for the child was brave, Fool as he was. The pity ... Here there came A sudden shrapnel, and the writing stopped.... Did I write that? O God—did I write that? Mine—they were mine, the folly and the waste. Now the keen edge of death has cut away The eyelids of my soul and I must bear The perfect understanding of the dead. Now that I know myself as I am known, How shall my soul endure Eternity? God, God, if there be pity left for me, Send to my son the child that I despised A messenger to burn into his soul While still he lives, the truth I died to learn!
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