The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

The Lay of the Bombardier
(Old style)

MY ways are lonely and apart.

My very name a thing of fear;

I am the man without a heart,

I am the Lord High Bombardier.

My mattins is the shrapnel's scream.

My evensong the bullet's crack;

The happy state of which I dream

To strafe and never be strafed back.

Oft-times with Red Hats hovering near

I hold a mystic high debate

On how to fill the Boche with fear.

On Frightfulness, or "What is Hate?"

How some bombs burst long ere they land.

Others, the choicest, as they fall;

How some dissect the thrower's hand,

While most will never burst at all.

With that spring-throated Juggernaut

That spits explosive at the sky.

No dark-browed scholar devil-taught

Could be more intimate than I.

For me no more the secret cult

Of "ampot," "Hairbrush," "Pitcher," "Ball,"

Holds fear; the erratic catapult

Has lost all power to appal.

With many a brother anarchist

By night I prowl from ten till one.

Thirsting to keep a bloody tryst

With some rotund unready Hun.

So runs my life, but when the end

Comes on the wings of shot or shell,

No tears will save, nor loving friend.

For me there waits the bomber's Hell,

Where with the unsubstantial shades

In groves where shells eternal fall

I'll fill Satanic hand-grenades

With fourth-dimension ammonal.

FLANDERS, 1915.