Syria is an ancient country, old when the Pharaoh Ramses II fought the Hittites near the little Syrian town of Kadesh more than three thousand years ago. So Syria will probably survive the current civil war that bids fair to destroy it. It appears the winners will be the Muslim Brotherhood, but that too will pass. What the future holds for Syria no one can answer, but one thing is sure. Syria will still be here when the Muslim Brotherhood is a footnote in the history of the Middle East. The ancient land has seen many armies, many conquerors. There have been many long nights in the history of the land we know as Syria, and yet the people survive. We are witnessing the arrival of another of those long dark nights. And now we learn the Syrian army is loading bombs with Sarin gas, and if Assad gives the order to use it, then many thousands will die a horrible death. But many have died horrible deaths before, from Roman swords in Carthage to RAF bombers in Hamburg. And yet the land survives.


Syria has long been around

Many and many a year

The Hittites came, the Hittites left

And yet Syria’s still here

Ramses’ heavy regiments marched

Along the Damascus Road

To Kadesh fields and steep sloped hills

That the Hittite army strode

Lawrence fought the Ottoman here

No quarter from either side

Versailles bequeathed the ancient land

To France to act as a guide

In bringing Arab culture up

To the standards of the West

And Lebanon became the jewel

Of that noble minded quest

But that was then and this is now

And distantly come the sounds

Of chariots and bowmens’ laughs

And the barking of the hounds

As pestilence and famine ride

With the closing of the light

As lengthened shadows signal that

In hours it will be night


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