I Tracked a Dead Man down a Trench
W. S. Lyon
Written in April 1915
I tracked a dead man down a trench,
I knew not he was dead.
They told me he had gone that way,
And there his foot-marks led.
The trench was long and close and curved,
It seemed without an end;
And as I threaded each new bay
I thought to see my friend.
I went there stooping to the ground.
For, should I raise my head,
Death watched to spring; and how should
A dead man find the dead?
At last I saw his back. He crouched
As still as still could be,
And when I called his name aloud
He did not answer me.
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The floor-way of the trench was wet
Where he was crouching dead:
The water of the pool was brown,
And round him it was red.
I stole up softly where he stayed
With head hung down all slack,
And on his shoulders laid my hands
And drew him gently back.
And then, as I had guessed, I saw
His head, and how the crown -
I saw then why he crouched so still,
And why his head hung down.