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Trench Duty

 Shaken from sleep, and numbed and scarce awake, 
Out in the trench with three hours’ watch to take, 
I blunder through the splashing mirk; and then 
Hear the gruff muttering voices of the men 
Crouching in cabins candle-chinked with light.
Hark! There’s the big bombardment on our right Rumbling and bumping; and the dark’s a glare Of flickering horror in the sectors where We raid the Boche; men waiting, stiff and chilled, Or crawling on their bellies through the wire.
‘What? Stretcher-bearers wanted? Some one killed?’ Five minutes ago I heard a sniper fire: Why did he do it? .
Starlight overhead— Blank stars.
I’m wide-awake; and some chap’s dead.

by Siegfried Sassoon
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