Wire, shrapnel and shell splinters
The Last Laugh. Wilfred Own
'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
And the splinters spat, and 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.
As 2017 dawns our remembrance of the dead of the First World War still has two long years to run. These are some of the the tools by which we slaughtered millions of our youth; barbed wire, shell splinters and balls of shrapnel.