Pill-Box

Just see what's happening, Worley.-Worley rose
And round the angled doorway thrust his nose,
And Sergeant Hoad went too. to snuff the air.
Then war brought down his fist, and missed the pair!
Yet Hoad was scratched by a splinter, the blood came,
And out burst terrors that he'd striven to tame.
A good man, Hoad, for weeks. I'm blown to bits.
He groans, he screams. Come, Bluffer, where's your wits?
Says Worley. Bluffer, you've a blighty, man!
All in the pillbox urged him, here began
His freedom: Think of Eastbourne and your dad.
The poor man lay at length and brief and mad
Flung out his cry of doom; soon ebbed and dumb
He yielded. Worley with a tot of rum
And shouting in his face could not restore him.
The ship of Charon over channel bore him.
All marvelled even on that most deathly day
To see this life so spirited away.

by Edmund Blunden

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