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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1918



I'm sitting here in the firelight's gleam
With the bowl of my pipe aglow,
Folk say, "You are lucky to be back home,"
And I answer nor "Yes," nor "No,"
As the smoke-rings lazily curl
And wreathe fantastic shapes,
I see the quick 'plane's hurried swirl
And the hill where the crater gapes.
I see it all through the blue-gray smoke
From my old and trusted briar,
The pits where the grim guns' nozzles poke
Till the word comes through to fire.
page 32 And as dull night yields place to day
Johnny reports with joy,
"The forward O.P. says shot's O.K.,
We'll give 'em hell, old boy."
But Johnny who joked while on the guns
Was killed at Bois Grenier.
The Major is buried in Delville Wood
And I—well, I'm sitting here.
And I see them all through the lazy rings,
The Major and Johnny, too.
And the memory of it ever clings
And I know what I always knew,
That my heart is still with my pals "out there"
Who are carrying on with the game.
I can see the lights in the startled air
As the guns burst into flame.
And though I've an eye with a sightless stare
And one of my arms are gone
In my dreams I am seeing the signals flare,
And I whisper the words, "Carry on!


P.U.—Permanently unfit. O.P.—Observation Post.