The Target
Ivor Gurney, (1890-1937)
  • Gassed in September 1917, he spent the rest of his life in psychiatric care
  • Published in 1919

  • I shot him, and it had to be
  • One of us! `Twas him or me.
  • `Couldn't be helped,' and none can blame
  • Me, for you would do the same.
  • My mother, she can't sleep for fear
  • Of what might be a-happening here
  • To me. Perhaps it might be best
  • To die, and set her fears at rest.
  • For worst is worst, and worry's done.
  • Perhaps he was the only son ...
  • Yet God keeps still, and does not say
  • A word of guidance any way.
  • Click to return to our Poets' corner
  • Well, if they get me, first I'll find
  • That boy, and tell him all my mind,
  • And see who felt the bullet worst,
  • And ask his pardon, if I durst.
  • All's tangle, Here's my job.
  • A man might rave, or shout, or sob;
  • And God He takes no sort of heed.
  • This is a bloody mess indeed.