The Silent One
Who died on the wires, and hung there, one of two–
Who for his hours of life had chattered through
Infinite lovely chatter of Bucks accent:
Yet faced unbroken wires; stepped over, and went
A noble fool, faithful to his stripes– and ended.
But I weak, hungry, and willing only for the chance
Of line — to fight in the line, lay down under unbroken
Wires, and saw the flashes and kept unshaken,
Till the politest voice — a finicking accent, said:
‘Do you think you might crawl through there: there’s a hole.’
Darkness shot at: I smiled, as politely replied —
‘I’m afraid not, Sir.’ There was no hole no way to be seen,
Nothing but chance of death, after tearing of clothes.
Kept flat, and watched the darkness, hearing bullets whizzing —
And thought of music — and swore deep heart’s deep oaths
(Polite to God) and retreated and came on again,
Again retreated — and a second time faced the screen.