The Great War

from War, The Liberator and Other Pieces, an electronic edition


To Sergeant H. Fraser and L.-Sergeant G. M'Kay

WELL, you have gone now, comrades,

And I shall see no more

The gallant friendly faces

Framed in my dug-out door.

I had no words to tell you

The things I longed to say,

But the company is empty

Since you have gone away.

The company is filled now

With faces strange to see,

And scarce a man of the old men

That lived and fought with me.

I know the drafts are good men,

I know they're doing well,

But they're not the men I slept with

Those nights at La Boiselle.

Oh, the old days of friendship

We shall not see again,

The bitter winter trenches

And the marches in the rain.

B├ęcourt, Authuille, Thiepval,

Henancourt, Avelay,

Their names are keys that open

Remembered doors to me.

Doors that will open never

Upon this tortured land.

I shall not see you ever,

Or take you by the hand.

Only for ancient friendship,

For all the times we knew,

Maybe you will remember

As I remember you.