The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

The Messages

"I cannot quite remember.... There were five

Dropt dead beside me in the trench -- and three

Whispered their dying messages to me...."

Back from the trenches, more dead than alive,

Stone-deaf and dazed, and with a broken knee,

He hobbled slowly, muttering vacantly:

"I cannot quite remember.... There were five

Dropt dead beside me in the trench, and three

Whispered their dying messages to me....

"Their friends are waiting, wondering how they thrive --

Waiting a word in silence patiently....

But what they said, or who their friends may be

"I cannot quite remember.... There where five

Dropt dead beside me in the trench -- and three

Whispered their dying messages to me...."