Poems by Wilfred Owen/The Chances
I mind as 'ow the night before that show
Us five got talkin,—we was in the know.
"Over the top to-morrer; boys, we're for it,
First wave we are, first ruddy wave; that's tore it."
"Ah well," says Jimmy,—an' 'e's seen some scrappin'—
"There ain't no more nor five things as can 'appen,
Ye get knocked out; else wounded—bad or cushy;
Scuppered; or nowt except you're feelin' mushy."
One of us got the knock-out, blown to chops.
One lad was hurt, like, losin' both 'is props.
And one, to use the word of 'ypocrites,
'Ad the misfortune to be took by Fritz.
Now me, I wasn't scratched, praise God Almighty,
(Though next time please I'll thank 'im for a blighty),
But poor old Jim, 'e's livin' an' 'e's not;
'E reckoned 'e'd five chances, an' 'e's 'ad;
'E's wounded, killed, and pris'ner, all the lot—
The ruddy lot all rolled in one. Jim's mad.