Ted to Nell – Dawn in Bivouac

01 Jan

A flicker of dawn in the reddening East;
A cluster of clouds in the melting grey-
A quickening stir amongst man and beast,
Drowsily conscious of coming day-

A sentry’s challenge- a stray dog’s bark
Cut the silence- from where we lie
The guns stand out in the lessening dark
In grim silhouette against the sky-

A whistle shrills through the cool, sweet dawn;
The camp is astir as the thin note dies-
An oath – a jest – and a laggard’s yawn
From his rough warm blankets unwilling to rise.

A shouted order, a snatch of song-
Smoke from the camp-fires hanging low-
In a jingling column, ghostly, strong
Down to water the gun-teams go

Two hours later the camp is bare-
High overhead a bullet sings-
(There’s a sniper up in those hills somewhere)
Into the desert the rear-guard swings

(Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force)


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Posted by on 1 January, '18 in About


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