Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/81

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The War and the Future

of a house, but heaps of brick and stone much blackened with fire, and on both sides of the road you see gashes and heapings of the earth and a great many stakes supporting barbed wire, and a general mess and litter as though there had been a fair there in rather rainy weather. And if you ask about this, they say, "Ah, this is where our old support line ran, just along here, and just under the church in what used to be the charnel-house, we had the snuggest little dug-out that ever was."

Then if you go on, you come to a landscape where there is no visible living thing; nothing but a blasted bedevilled sea of mud, gouged into great holes and gashed into great trenches, and blown into immense pits, and all littered and heaped with broken iron, and broken leather, and rags and boots and jars and tins, and old barbed wire by the ton and unexploded shells and bombs by the hundred ton, and where there is no building and no road, and no tree and no grass, nothing but desolation and mud and death.

And if you ask, "Is this Hell?" They say, "No, this is the market place where we are standing. The church is that lump to the right." Then if you look down you see that