Some men speak their thoughts aloud, while others shy away.
Some seek solace in shimmering shadows; others, the light of day.
What to do when ordered on high? We soldiers do as told!
‘Though the heat of war is much like Hell; Imperial justice cuts cold.
Into the void we spoke our truth; so now we have to pay.
Well … no more talk of ‘tomorrow’ lads - now’s the time to pray.
And no more looking backward, George! Onward, ever on!
Remember you’re the best my boy, on whom the sun e’er shone.
We’re scapegoats for the Empire boys! That’s for sure, I say!
Useless pleading orders now; it’s the great beyond today!
So, here’s to that Empire Peter and the Carbineers as well.
I’m for Heaven soon – for I’ve had my fill of Hell!
It’s true, I stilled those beating hearts; I snatched dear breath away.
How I wish it were not so … my obeisance please defray.
Here hand in hand, we two tall stand. “You Bastards! Be sure, shoot straight!”
Very soon, we’ll meet again, beyond the Pearly Gates.
But … oh! That sparkling streamlet, when our hands entwined together,
echoing our child-like laughter … How I wished it so forever.
I’ll miss my trim-set petticoat. ‘Though I be safe in Heaven,
what is Paradise to me, if I leave my love in Devon?
As we poets crave immortality, through our use of rhyming diction,
indulge me these verses here, as I await my crucifixion.
Let me bequeath some final lines as I fly these mortal shores -
I entreat Thee, Architect Divine … forgive us, evermore.