Oh, some of us lolled in the château,
They drive us head-on for the slaughter;
To-day you would scarce recognise us,
The poppies gleamed like bloody pools through cotton-woolly
We spread out in the open: it was like a bath of lead;
Well, it downed me for a jiffy, but I didn't lose me calm,
I was pleased it was the left one, for I 'ad me bombs, ye
So there I lay all 'elpless like, and bloody sick at that,
Now as I lay a-lyin' there and blastin' of me lot,
Oh it set me blood a-boilin' and I quite forgot me pain,
Then these Boches, wot was left of 'em, they tumbled down
You may talk o' your lutes and your dulcimers fine,
At Eepers I mind me when rank upon rank
At Loose, it wis after a sconnersome fecht,
Weel, I waited a wee, then I crawled oot masel,
The last scene o' a'---'twas the day that we took
Weel, he looks in ma face, jist as game as ye please:
And so you may talk o' your Steinways and Strads,
My stretcher is one scarlet stain,
In drippin' darkness, far and near,
Is it not strange? A year ago to-day,
Stranger than any book I've ever read.
And here am I, worse wounded than I thought;
Well, that's the charge. And now I'm here alone.
Ay, War, they say, is hell; it's heaven, too.
Since all that is was ever bound to be;
Then let's have faith; good cometh out of ill;
'Ave you seen Bill's mug in the Noos to-day?
Little Bill wot I nussed in 'is by-by clothes;
"Oh, the Captain comes and 'e says: 'Look 'ere!
"And the next I knew I was sneakin' out,
It was all so dark, it was all so still;
"Then 'ere's the part wot I can't explain:
"Then all the 'Uns that was underground,
"So I 'eld 'em back and I yelled wiv fright,
So that's the 'istory Bill told me.
Missis Moriarty called last week, and says she to me, says
And just as she spoke them very same words me Dinnis came
in at the door,
Missis Moriarty goes about wid a shinin' look on her face;
Gurr! You cochon! Stand and fight!
Ah, indeed! We well are met,
There! I've done it. See! He lies
How I wish that he would die!
What strange spell is over me?
I'd a brother of his age
I have reason to be gay:
Now, oh now I understand.
His face looked strangely, as he died,
Ah no! 'Tis I who must atone.
Not for him the pity be.
I've got a little job on 'and, the time is drawin' nigh;
I've got a little note to write; I'd best begin it now.
I've got a little score to settle wiv them swine out there.
What do they matter, our headlong hates, when we take the
toll of our Dead?
If by the Victory all we mean is a broken and brooding foe;
If by the Triumph we only prove that the sword we sheathe
If this be all: by the blood-drenched plains, by the havoc
of fire and fear,
Victory! there can be but one, hallowed in every land:
Triumph! Yes, when out of the dust in the splendour of their
Glory! Ay, when from blackest loss shall be born most radiant
When our children's children shall talk of War as a madness
that may not be;
There were two brothers, John and James,
And when the great World War began,
John came home with a missing limb;
Time passed. John tried his grief to drown;
Give me the scorn of the stars and a peak defiant;
Give me to live and love in the old, bold fashion;
For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying:
So let me go and leave your safety behind me;
Then you will call me and claim me because you will need me;
For guile and a purse gold-greased are the arms you carry;
You with your "Art for its own sake," posing and
Fools! I will tell you now: though the red rain patters,
There's a glory gold never can buy to yearn and to cry for;
Ah no! it's my dream that War will never be ended;
That the tale of my fights will never be ancient story;
So give me a strong right arm for a wrong's swift righting;
As I was saying . . . (No, thank you; I never take cream with
Well, that little job was over, so hell for leather we ran,
I look into the aching womb of night;
The earth is sick and seems to breathe with pain;
The slain I would not see . . . and so I lift
The cheeks of some are channelled deep with tears;
And some are young, and some are very old;
They fill the vast of Heaven, face on face;
Nay, I but dream. The sky is all forlorn,
My job is done; my rhymes are ranked and ready,
It seems I'm in a giant bowling-alley;
And once again I seek Hill Sixty-Seven,
I see across the shrapnel-seeded meadows
Once more within the sky's deep sapphire hollow
0h spacious days of glory and of grieving!