THE FIRST TRICK IN THE TRENCHES.
We were lying around on an old barn floor,
Just smoking and taking our pleasure,
And no one would think from what he saw
That the morn was the end of our leisure.
But the whisper had just gone round the men,
"We're off to the trenches to-morrow";
And our thoughts became sober and serious then,
Though there was no sign of sorrow.
In the early morn, with our harness on,
We were ready to call on Fritz,
So we hit the road with a snatch of song,
Though we may have felt like "two-bits."
A shattered village we reached at length,
Not a cottage left (large or small),
But a sombre wit on a wall had writ
"Krupp Avenue"-that was all.
And the ruins of Ypres now loomed into view,
As we hurriedly marched along,
And then we knew that our tramp was through,
As we heard the salient's song.
Over there the crack of machine gun,
And here the sniper's lone shot,
While the roar of "sausage" and rifle grenade
Would sometimes ring o'er the lot.
For these are the notes the salient sings
As the days go drearily by,
And the star shells are the cold spotlights
'Neath which men live and die.
The Fortyniner, No. 5, 1916, p. 19.