Barcroft Henry Thomas Boake (26 March 1866 – May 1892 / Sydney / Australia)
The fight was over, and the battle won
A soldier, who beneath his chieftain’s eye
Had done a might deed and done it well,
And done it as the world will have it done—
A stab, a curse, some quick play of the butt,
Two skulls cracked crosswise, but the colours saved—
Proud of his wounds, proud of the promised cross,
Turned to his rear-rank man, who on his gun
Leant heavily apart. ‘Ho, friend!’ he called,
‘You did not fight then: were you left behind?
I saw you not.’ The other turned and showed
A gapping, red-lipped wound upon his breast.
‘Ah,’ said he sadly, ‘I was in the smoke!’
Threw up his arms, shivered, and fell and died.
Comments about this poem (An Allegory by Barcroft Henry Thomas Boake )
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