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BOGLE, Eric


No Man’s Land

Well how do you do, Private William McBride

Do you mind if I sit here down by your grave side?

A rest for awhile in the warm summer sun

I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done

And I see by your gravestone that you were only 19

When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916

Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean

Or, William McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum slowly?

Did they sound the pipes lowly?

Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?

Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?

Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?

In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined

And though you died back in 1916

To that loyal heart are you always 19

Or are you just a stranger without even a name

Forever enclosed behind some glass-pane

In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained

And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Did they beat the drum slowly?

Did they sound the pipes lowly?

Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?

Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?

Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?