War, the Liberator, and Other Pieces/Farewell


To Sergeant H. Fraser and L.-Sergeant G. M‘Kay

WELL, you have gone now, comrades,
And I shall see no more
The gallant friendly faces
Framed in my dug-out door.
I had no words to tell you
The things I longed to say,
But the company is empty
Since you have gone away.

The company is filled now
With faces strange to see,
And scarce a man of the old men
That lived and fought with me.
I know the drafts are good men,
I know they’re doing well,
But they’re not the men I slept with
Those nights at La Boiselle.

Oh, the old days of friendship
We shall not see again,
The bitter winter trenches
And the marches in the rain.
Bécourt, Authuille, Thiepval,
Henancourt, Avelay,
Their names are keys that open
Remembered doors to me.

Doors that will open never
Upon this tortured land.
I shall not see you ever,
Or take you by the hand.
Only for ancient friendship,
For all the times we knew,
Maybe you will remember
As I remember you.