The stage was set, the house was packed,
The famous troop began;
Our laughter thundered, act by act;
Time light as sunbeams ran.
Dance sprang and spun and neared and fled,
Jest chirped at gayest pitch,
Rhythm dazzled, action sped
Most comically rich.
With generals and lame privates both
Such charms worked wonders, till
The show was over – lagging loth
We faced the sunset chill;
And standing on the sandy way,
With the cracked church peering past,
We heard another matinée,
We heard the maniac blast
Of barrage south by Saint Eloi,
And the red lights flaming there
Called madness: Come, my bonny boy,
And dance to the latest air.
To this new concert, white we stood;
Cold certainty held our breath;
While men in tunnels below Larch Wood
Were kicking men to death.