KILLED - William Herbert Carruth Poems


Poems » william herbert carruth » killed


Lieutenant Keen was "great," and yet
He would look over the parapet;
And something smacked him in the head,
And he lay down as dead as dead.

He sluttered down, all proud and grim,
And we set to and buried him;
All night he lay and took his rest
With lumps of Flanders on his breast.

All day he lay in Flanders ground
And rested, rested, good and sound;
But when the dog-star glittered clear
He calls, "By Jove, it's dark down here!"

"Sergeant, ain't I for rounds?" sings he,
"And where's the bally Company?"
And he was answered, with respect,
"Here, sir -- all present and correct!"

And -- sure as I'm a man -- at night
He comes along the trench, as white
And cheerful as the blessèd saints,
To see if there was "no complaints."

They cannot quieten that boy's ghost,
He'll have no truck with no "Last Post,"
They mark him "Killed," but you may swear
He's with us, be it foul or fair.

He goes before us like young fire,
A soldier of his soul's desire;
Through the hell-reek that smothers us,
He fathers us and mothers us.

When we have pushed the German swine
Across the pretty river Rhine,
Maybe he'll bide where he was spent
And lie down happy and content.