Back from the line one night in June, I gave a dinner at Bethuneâ€” Seven courses, the most gorgeous meal Money could buy or batman steal. Five hungry lads welcomed the fish With shouts that nearly cracked the dish; Asparagus came with tender tops, Strawberries in cream, and mutton chops. Said Jenkins, as my hand he shook, â€œTheyâ€™ll put this in the history book.â€ We bawled Church anthems in choro Of Bethlehem and Hermon snow, With drinking songs, a jolly sound To help the good red Pommard round. Stories and laughter interspersed, We drowned a long La BassÐ¹e thirstâ€” Trenches in June make throats damned dry. Then through the window suddenly, Badge, stripes and medals all complete, We saw him swagger up the street, Just like a live manâ€”Corporal Stare! Stare! Killed last May at Festubert. Caught on patrol near the Boche wire, Torn horribly by machine-gun fire! He paused, saluted smartly, grinned, Then passed away like a puff of wind, Leaving us blank astonishment. The song broke, up we started, leant Out of the windowâ€”nothing there, Not the least shadow of Corporal Stare, Only a quiver of smoke that showed A fag-end dropped on the silent road.