Strange Hells (1917)
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links Off
There are strange hells within the minds war made
Not so often, not so humiliating afraid
As one would have expected – the racket and fear guns made.
One hell the Gloucester soldiers they quite put out;
Their first bombardment, when in combined black shout
Of fury, guns aligned, they ducked low their heads
And sang with diaphragms fixed beyond all dreads,
That tin and stretched-wire tinkle, that blither of tune;
“Apres la guerre fini” till hell all had come down,
Twelve-inch, six-inch, and eighteen pounders hammering hell’s thunders.
Where are they now on state-doles, or showing shop patterns
Or walking town to town sore in borrowed tatterns
Or begged. Some civic routine one never learns.
The heart burns – but has to keep out of the face how heart burns.
Poem © Out of copyright