Harold Macdonald's Muse


The Somme













Harold Macdonald

Empathy is now the drug of brains,

It drowns the spark of thought with pails of tears

Clothes itself in horrors decked with fears

Is suffering’s colleague, connoisseur of pains


Once more the men are climbing up the sodden wall

Rifles in their hands, into the stinging air,

Expressionless they drop, for only death is there

The sergeant blows his whistle, time for us to rise and fall.


They stumble every time the jerky film is run

men in spite of brains are soon to be extinct

their minds anaesthetized, they stare without a blink,

fodder for the gun, we feel them perish, every one.


Now prevail, in rows and rows of whitened crosses -

order from their nothingness, and deathly peace from losses.


Somme Soldiers