A grey gull hovered overhead, Then wisely flew away. 'In half a jiffy you'll be dead,' I thought I heard it say; As there upon the railway line, Checking an urge to cough, I laboured to de-fuse the mine That had not yet gone off.
I tapped around the time-clock rim, Then something worried me. I heard the singing of a hymn: Nearer my God to Thee. That damned Salvation Army band! I phoned back to the boys: 'Please tell them,--they will understand,-- Cut out the bloody noise!'
Silence . . . I went to work anew, And then I heard a tick That told me the blast was due,-- I never ran so quick. I heard the fury-roar behind; The earth erupted hell, As hoisted high and stunned and blind Into a ditch I fell.
Then when at last I crawled from cover, My hands were bloody raw; And I was blue and bruised all over, And this is what I saw: All pale, but panting with elation, And very much unstuck, There was the Army of Salvation Emerging from the muck.
And then I heard the Captain saying: ''Twas Heaven heard our pleas; For there anight we all were praying Down on our bended knees. 'Twas little hope your comrades gave you, Though we had faith divine . . . The blessed Lord stooped down to save you, But Gosh! He cut it fine.'