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Hoards of great Mongols
   on Russian waste lands
Death on the field
   and bloody red hands
a vision at night time
   of horror and pain
some even called them insane

A group of young scholars
   they talk on great things
of planets and water
   of bright golden rings
But all of their quarrels
   they've argued in vain
some even called them insane

tar covered bodies
   light up the night
Nero's great Kingdom
   Christendom fright
300 years later
   gone is their pain
some even called them insane

a mathematic genius
   works on a chart
the answer so simple
   to all that he's sought
the heavens are spinning
   you've struggled in vain
some even called him insane

a vision of angels
   hanging in trees
never believing
   all that he sees
some, they still doubt you
   your poems entertain
some even called you insane

Bamboo and grass huts
   a far eastern war
They fought for a cause
   despite all the lore
their souls have not rested
   they still feel the pain
some even called them insane

past generations
   they all were so blind
a race to the finish
   of all of mankind
we're fighting for nothing
   we struggle in vain
i think it's all quite insane

© 1985 john r. chase

fresh out of college, my 11th grade history teacher found it easy to relate to his students, and captured us with every word. once during a lecture, he uttered the phrase "hoards of mongels on russian wastelands" and i spent the rest of class that day writing this poem. the inspiration for the metre is the verse portion of Sting's "Children's Crusade" off of The Dream of the Blue Turtles.