An Allegory (Boake)

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For works with similar titles, see An Allegory.

The fight was over, and the battle won.
A soldier, who beneath his chieftain's eye
Had done a mighty deed and done it well,
And done it as the world will have it done —
A stab, a curse, some quick play of the butt,
Two skulls cracked crosswise, but the colours saved —
Proud of his wounds, proud of the promised cross,
Turned to his rear-rank man, who on his gun
Leant heavily apart. 'Ho, friend!' he called,
'You did not fight then: were you left behind?
I saw you not.' The other turned and showed
A gaping, red-lipped wound upon his breast.
'Ah,' said he sadly, 'I was in the smoke!'
Threw up his arms, shivered, and fell and died.

This work is in the public domain because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.