You’ve coughed, and coughed, throughout these years
Those watery eyes, those dreadful spasms, as gasping breaths
Reveal the chasm that was your life, and now is ours.
In despairing depths we watch and pray
As blood stained phlegm, and sputum spray
Reminding us of constant pain, so bravely borne,
Then once again, your face forlorn, shoulders hunched,
That anxious look, those shocking eyes which saw the shame,
As men were gassed, and fell like rain
Those self same eyes which lost their use,
Whilst generals wanting further gain, urged our troops,
The British cream, to face once more their awful dream
The dying cries of those who knew, twas now their time to leave the grime
And find new mistresses of mud, intent on sucking out their blood
Absorbing all they had to give, whilst some, intent to live
Embraced the earth, turned away, and said they’d had enough that day
Then faced the wrath of those above, who’d never trod those blood stained boards
Though making sure Courts Martial ruled, and honest men, their names defiled
Then stood against the fence; none smiled
As squads of men, our fellow friends, took aim then fired.
Three hundred men, brave and true, sixteen, seventeen, just like you
To young to join but not to die, and still we hear your nightly cry
For brothers lost and dreams disturbed, as once again we hear the words
“For King & Country we did our duty”; then we see your heaving chest
And wonder is this best left, or, should we help you to your final rest?
Your final sleep, your last endeavour, ended by my feather pillow?