At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
In the wild
purple of the glow'ring sun,
Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud
scarred slope; and, one by one,
Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.
The barrage roars and lifts.
Then, clumsily bowed with bombs and guns
and shovels and battle-gear,
Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.
of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear,
They leave their trenches, going over the top,
While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,
hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists,
Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!