Across the dark of no-man's land,
two soldiers crept, their guns in hand.
Each praying, as he stole along,
that he would live to see the dawn.
Both boys had just turned twenty four,
and couldn't wait to get to war.
Death for them was not a truth;
for both still wore the shield of youth.
One's name was Karl, the other's Joe,
and each, a few short weeks ago,
Had left his family to fight;
believing that his cause was right.
Now they were crawling through the mud,
that faintly smelled of others' blood.
Through powder smoke, and shot and shell,
they crept on through this living hell.
Then in this dark and fearful place,
the two of them came face to face.
They fired, each bullet found its mark,
and both boys died there, in the dark.
Next morning, by first light of day,
some others came to where they lay.
With gentle hands and manner kind,
they carried them behind the line.
Two notes were found the boys had penned,
they read them once and then again.
All were amazed, and who could blame;
the notes were both the very same.
"Dear Mom and Dad, if I should die,
I ask you, 'Hold my memory high,'
My dying will not be in vain,
if wars are never fought again;
Or if again a nation's youth
will never have to die for truth:
But live in peace with everyone,
I love you both. Your dearest son."