Everything is here: the foot soldiers, the cavalry, the bannerets
, the dead, the debris, as well as the encampments and the preparations.
The aristocracy here studied includes, in thirteenth-century terms, bannerets
, knights, and esquires, as well as earls and barons.
The question extends over eight mocking, descriptive stanzas with brilliant detail and hypnotic rhythm: what is the value when we ourselves will turn to mud and gore, when the bannerets become bodies dangling on the barbed wire of trench warfare, when the rivers of blood are 'of our own making'?
The lines beginning the second part of the first movement recreate the mindless antics of privileged Viennese, the mechanical harmony of marching men, the fluttering of banneret and the racing pulses, heads filled with notions of 'glory'.