Saturday, December 1, 2007


Why did I go to the wars ? “Dunno.”
No doubt is was Destiny forced me to go,
I hasd dashed little knowledge of national things
Pertaining to treaties and statutes and kings;
A hazy idea that a ‘ell of a scrap
Was twisting and changing the tints on a map;
Grim tellings of slaughter and terrible shame,
And capping them all was Germany’s name;
Of fates worse than death for a mother and maid,
Perhaps throughtit all I was somewhat afraid
When remembering those who are\ dearer to me
Than my life. And yes, there may be
In the thoughts of their honour an impelling spur
To make things quite sure for my mother and Her.
Perhaps ‘twas some writer or speaker I’d heard,
Yhe blood of my ancestors wakened and stirred,
And flung to my brain an appeal to my breed.
Mayhap I followed some other chaps lead.
Or was the natural love of a scrap
Some sort of dare devil wakes in a chap,
That challenges death for a jest or a taunt,
The sheer joy of living that nothing will daunt,
I dunno but I’ve fought and I’ve been through the mill.
What made me a soldier’s a mystery still;
But home’s not a home if it’s not wortha fight –
All things puttogether I know I’ve done right.
Through danger and dark days and death I am here,
I’m not learned or clever, but one thing is clear,
I’ve a lot to be lost and dern little to gain,
Bit if things were reversed I’d just do it again;
For I know (for I’ve seen) that war is just hell,
Where death lurks with vermnin and noise and foul smell,
But all things considered I’d go out once more,
Though I’ll nevber know rightly what takes me to war.

London 26.3.16

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