Ten thousand bullets fired,
all the angry wasps in the world,
and devil the one to sting me:
I’m the lucky man.
Ten thousand leagues of trooping in the war,
watching the mast stab the stars
in a sky as big as anticipation,
and devil the shot I’ve heard fired in anger:
I’m dead lucky.
Tens of thousands of bombs fallen
and Europe every bit as dangerous
as ten thousand hair-tearing harridans,
and here am I, singing,
lucky as the Twelve Apostles,
devil the death in me at all:
I’m the lucky man, dead lucky.
17th October 1944