Erotica author, aka Elspeth Potter, on Writing from the Inside

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ivor Gurney, "The Silent One"

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
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 oaths
(Polite to God) and retreated and
came on again,
Again retreated--a second time
faced the screen.

--Ivor Gurney

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