Herbert Edward Read

The Happy Warrior

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His wild heart beats with painful sobs,
His strin'd hands clench an ice-cold rifle,
His aching jaws grip a hot parch'd tongue,
His wide eyes search unconsciously.

He cannot shriek.


Bloody saliva
Dribbles down his shapeless jacket.


I saw him stab
And stab again
A well-killed Boche.


This is the happy warrior,
This is he...

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Herbert Edward Read