The Last Laugh

‘O Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ he said; and died.

Whether he vainly cursed, or prayed indeed,

The Bullets chirped — In vain! vain! vain!

Machine-guns chuckled, — Tut-tut! Tut-tut!

And the Big Gun guffawed.

Another sighed, — ‘O Mother, mother! Dad!’

Then smiled, at nothing, childlike, being dead.

And the lofty Shrapnel-cloud

Leisurely gestured, — Fool!

And the falling splinters tittered.

‘My Love!’ one moaned. Love-languid seemed his mood,

Till, slowly lowered, his whole face kissed the mud.

And the Bayonets’ long teeth grinned;

Rabbles of Shells hooted and groaned;

And the Gas hissed.