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His frown brought terror to his foes...

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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
All Entries 1997 - 2002
All Entries 2002
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Land Mine

Published by Susan on 08/08/2003 (2120 reads)
A grey gull hovered overhead...

A grey gull hovered overhead,
        Then wisely flew away.
'In half a jiffy you'll be dead,'
        I thought I heard it say;
As there upon the railway line,
        Checking an urge to cough,
I laboured to de-fuse the mine
        That had not yet gone off.

I tapped around the time-clock rim,
        Then something worried me.
I heard the singing of a hymn:
        Nearer my God to Thee .
That damned Salvation Army band!
        I phoned back to the boys:
'Please tell them,--they will understand,--
        Cut out the bloody noise!'

Silence . . . I went to work anew,
        And then I heard a tick
That told me the blast was due,--
        I never ran so quick.
I heard the fury-roar behind;
        The earth erupted hell,
As hoisted high and stunned and blind
        Into a ditch I fell.

Then when at last I crawled from cover,
        My hands were bloody raw;
And I was blue and bruised all over,
        And this is what I saw:
All pale, but panting with elation,
        And very much unstuck,
There was the Army of Salvation
        Emerging from the muck.

And then I heard the Captain saying:
        ''Twas Heaven heard our pleas;
For there anight we all were praying
        Down on our bended knees.
'Twas little hope your comrades gave you,
        Though we had faith divine . . .
The blessed Lord stooped down to save you,
        But Gosh! He cut it fine .'

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