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Land Mine

Robert Service

A grey gull hovered overhead,
          Then wisely flew away.
'In half a jiffy you'll be dead,'
          I thought I heard it say;
As there upon the railway line,
          Checking an urge to cough,
I laboured to de-fuse the mine
          That had not yet gone off.

I tapped around the time-clock rim,
          Then something worried me.
I heard the singing of a hymn:
          Nearer my God to Thee.
That damned Salvation Army band!
          I phoned back to the boys:
'Please tell them,--they will understand,--
          Cut out the bloody noise!'

Silence . . . I went to work anew,
          And then I heard a tick
That told me the blast was due,--
          I never ran so quick.
I heard the fury-roar behind;
          The earth erupted hell,
As hoisted high and stunned and blind
          Into a ditch I fell.

Then when at last I crawled from cover,
          My hands were bloody raw;
And I was blue and bruised all over,
          And this is what I saw:
All pale, but panting with elation,
          And very much unstuck,
There was the Army of Salvation
          Emerging from the muck.

And then I heard the Captain saying:
          ''Twas Heaven heard our pleas;
For there anight we all were praying
          Down on our bended knees.
'Twas little hope your comrades gave you,
          Though we had faith divine . . .
The blessed Lord stooped down to save you,
          But Gosh! He cut it fine.'

Added: 29 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 22 Jul 2018 6:26 PM | Viewed: 4616 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/5236/ | Viewed on 22 July 2018.
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