Now history as you will see is more than just old news
For it concerns our ancestry and holds important clues
The claim that it repeats itself is not designed to scare
But save us from our past mistakes and ever more despair.
It tells us tales of kings and queens and dates of key events
Of civil wars and uprisings that made so little sense
Of treaties binding hostile states that brought uncertain peace
And daring deeds that sealed the fates of Rome and Ancient Greece.
The tragedy of empires and their highfalutin priests
Who cast their foes on flaming pyres at sacrificial feasts
The slow path to democracy against the will of some
The power and hypocrisy to which some men succumb.
Of galleons built of sturdy oak that flew with sails unfurled
And modern thinking that awoke to influence the world
The poets and the playwrights and the authors of new laws
Who fought long hours for human rights on far-flung distant shores.
Some history’s a mystery as endless gaps remain
The site of lost Atlantis and the treasure chests of Spain
But when the next historians take time to think of us
Will they weigh up the way we are with ‘Man was ever thus’?