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Warrior Poetry from Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's book, On Killing

Pg 61, On Killing:
Fear and Courage Among Medical Personnel:
“They Take Not Their Courage from Anger.”

In a vision of the night I saw them,
     In the battles of the night.
'Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood
     They were moving like light . . .

With scrutiny calm, and with fingers
     Patient as swift
They bind up the hurts and the pain-writhen
     Bodies uplift . . .

But they take not their courage from anger
     That blinds the hot being;
They take not their pity from weakness;
     Tender, yet seeing . . .

They endure to have eyes of the watcher
     In hell and not swerve
For an hour from the faith that they follow,
     The light that they serve.

Man true to man, to his kindness
     That overflows all,
To his spirit erect in the thunder
     When all his forts fall, -

This light, in the tiger-mad welter,
     They serve and they save.
What song shall be worthy to sing them-
     Braver than the brave?
          -Laurence Binyon, World War I veteran
          “The Healers”

Pg 82, On Killing:

The Well of Fortitude

Stay with me, God. The night is dark.
     The night is cold: my little spark
of courage dies. The night is long;
     be with me, God, and make me strong.
          -Junius, Vietnam veteran
          Pg 93 On Killing

The Blind Men and the Elephant

The man who ranges in No Man's Land
Is dogged by shadows on either hand
     -James H. Knight-Adkin
     “No Man's Land”

Pg 141, On Killing:

The Demands of Authority: Milgram and the Military

Riflemen miss if orders sound unsure;
They only are secure who seem secure . . .
     -Kingsley Amis
     “The Masters”

Pg 229, On Killing:

This let us pray for, this implore: That all base dreams thrust out at door,
     We may in loftier aims excel
And, like men waking from a spell, Grow stronger, nobler, than before,
     When there is Peace.
          -Austin Dobson, World War I veteran “When There Is Peace”

Pg 264, On Killing

The Rationalization and Acceptance of Killing

But after the fires and the wrath, But after searching and pain,
His Mercy opens us a path To live with ourselves again.
     -Rudyard Kipling “The Choice”