"Old soldiers never die, nor even fade away"
He marched in measured meter to the mud-merged mitrailleuse;
Trod treadmill trudge, through sewage sludge, where no-man's nod confers
Ghastly gloom with a mustard plume
On typhus-tainted troops:
The green-gas sear and fumbling fear
Of gasping, groping groups.
He over-topped the sniper's shot, out-stepped the trench-foot mire,
Fought phosgene fume, ere poppy's bloom flamed Flanders fields of fire.
Close comrades maimed, their corpses claimed
By charnel-churned morass:
In mouldered gear, they flounder drear
Where whistling whizz-bangs pass.
Mustered, mastered, mortified, ammunition fed,
Bronzed and ironed, brassed and tinned, steeled against the lead.
Though drilled and skilled, were untold stilled,
Shell-shocked and shrapnel torn.
Centenary year will call out clear
The Last Post farewell horn,
To the Unknown khaki Tommy, who would not go away,
It's "Thank you, Mr Atkins, " as the bands strike up to play
And when they do, we'll sorely rue
Lives lost that cost so dear,
Lone ophans left, loved ones bereft:
Fond memories in a tear.
"I had not thought death had undone so many"
(T S Eliot: The Wasteland)
O it's Tommy this, an'Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you Mister Atkins, " when the band begins to play.
(Rudyard Kipling: Tommy)
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem