Home » First World War » Signal Corporal » After Sheria

After Sheria

The captured teas, the taken guns,

Were muchly to our mind,

But O, next day, we marched away

And left them all behind.

Let go, let go the milk-white ass,

And drop the copper pan,

Things of desire that do but tire

The burdened fighting man.

Bare to the elbows, brown and lean,

Behold them as they go,

“The Londons” desperately keen,

Dogged and firm and slow.

“Children of Israel” wanderers yet.

Quick-tongued for grouse or gibe,

Well do their leaders know the worth

Of the ancient London tribe.

Up and away before the day

Brings sweat to loin and girth,

Into the bare and trackless plain

On brown Philistian earth.

No laughter breaks, no talk, no songs,

No taunts, or quick replies

Fly down the ranks, men silent go

Who strain towards a prize.

But look! the sun is on the left,

The hot earth turns, apace,

Dust and distress is all behind,

This is the halting place.

One little stage we’ve onward crept,

Wagon, and man, and gun.

Quick, quick, erect the bivouac

Before night takes the sun.