Brothers (Heinrich Lersch, 1915)
Before our wire there lay for long a dead man full in view:
The sun burned down upon him, he was cooled by wind and dew.
Day after day upon his pallid face I used to stare,
And ever grew more certain: ‘twas my brother lying there.
And often as I looked at him outstretched before my gaze,
I seemed to hear his merry voice from far-off peaceful days.
And in my dreams I heard him crying out and weeping sore,
“Ah, brother, dearest brother, do you love me then no more?”
At last I risked the bullets and the shrapnel-rain, and ran
And fetched him in, and buried… an unknown fellow man.
My eyes deceived me, but my heart proclaimed the truth to me:
In every dead man’s countenance a brother’s face I see.