Carnage

Wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar,
The trees look sternly, as if passing judgement.
Here, silently, all screams, and, hat in hand,
I feel my hair changing shade to gray.

And I myself, like one long soundless scream
Above the thousands of thousands interred,
I’m every old man executed here,
As I am every child murdered here.

From Babi Yar, Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Massacre of the Innocents - Peter Paul Rubens

A Middle Irish Poem on the Massacre of the Holy Innocents
[A Woman:] Why do you part me from my darling son? The fruit of my womb, it was I who bore him, he drank from my breast, my womb carried him, he sucked my bowels, he was my life, it is my death to take him from me. It has sapped my strength, it has stilled my speech, it has blinded my eyes.

[Another:] You take my son from me, it is not he does the wrong; kill me then, do not kill my son! My breasts without milk, my eyes wet, my hands shaking, my body without mettle, my husband without a son, myself without strength, my life is but death! O God, my only son, my journey without reward, my labour without birth, unrevenged until Doomsday. My breasts are stilled, my heart is bowed down.

[Another:] You seek one to kill, you kill many; you strike down the babies, you wound the fathers, you kill the mothers. You have filled hell, you have shut heaven, you have spilt the blood of the righteous without a cause.

[Another:] Come to me, Christ! Take my life quickly along with my son. O great Mary, Mother of God’s Son, what shall I do without a son? On account of your son my sense and mind have been killed; I have been made a mad woman after my son. My heart is a clot of blood after the tragic slaughter from today till the judgment comes.

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