While Venice sleeps we turn the charge
Past children as they're sleeping
Heed shattered wails of parentage
Lay shaking from their weeping
Our sons and daughters off to war
For what nonsense they carry
A fete of colors, bravura sheets
Before they're finally buried.

Each simple row we follow through
Each window sloshes by
The reddened eyes and crooked backs
All families that I spy
For what it seems they had to go
To fight those soldiers mighty
They all have parents just as we
Who's tears are just as heavy.