A league and a league from the trenches -- from the traversed
maze of the lines,
Where daylong the sniper watches and daylong the bullet
And the cratered earth is in travail with mines and with
Here, where haply some woman dreamed (are those her roses
In the garden beyond the windows of my littered working
We have decked the map for our masters as a bride is decked
for the groom.
Fair, on each lettered numbered square -- crossroad and
mound and wire,
Loophole, redoubt, and emplacement -- lie the targets their
Gay with purples and browns and blues, have we traced them
their arcs of fire.
And ever the type-keys chatter; and ever our keen wires bring
Word from the watchers a-crouch below, word from the
And ever we hear the distant growl of our hid guns thundering.
Hear it hardly, and turn again to our maps, where the trench
Red on the gray and each with a sign for the ranging shrapnel's
Snakes that our masters shall scotch at down, as is written
here on the wall.
For the weeks of our waiting draw to a close. . . . There is
scarcely a leaf astir
In the garden beyond my windows, where the twilight shadows
The blaze of some woman's roses. . . . "Bombardment orders,
By: Gilbert Frankau