From out the reeling night the old chateau
Rears up to meet a straggling file of men,
Muddy and sore; who filled with thankfulness,
Plod up the pond’rous stair in heavy pain,
Weary and numbed, and sodden with rain.
Then snuggle down to sweet oblivion;
In chinks aglow, the guttering candle-ends
Flicker against the gaunt, grey, dripping beams
And flare to humid, rough-hewn rafters, hung
With muddy trappings. Rifles feebly flung
Against the walls; and here and there about –
Helmets, and bandoliers and bayonets,
Box-respirators dropped amongst the straw:
So, reeking damp, still, motionless, they lie
As dead, a few who fought and did not die.