I shot him, and it had to be
One of us ‘Twas him or me.
‘Couldn’t be helped’ and none can blame
Me, for you would do the same
My mother, she can’t sleep for fear
Of what might be a-happening here
To me. Perhaps it might be best
To die, and set her fears at rest
For worst is worst, and worry’s done.
Perhaps he was the only son. . .
Yet God keeps still, and does not say
A word of guidance anyway.
Well, if they get me, first I’ll find
That boy, and tell him all my mind,
And see who felt the bullet worst,
And ask his pardon, if I durst.
All’s a tangle. Here’s my job.
A man might rave, or shout, or sob;
And God He takes no sort of heed.
This is a bloody mess indeed.
William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: A Retelling in Prose, by David Bruce
Who died on the wires, and hung there, one of two–
Who for his hours of life had chattered through
Infinite lovely chatter of Bucks accent:
Yet faced unbroken wires; stepped over, and went
A noble fool, faithful to his stripes– and ended.
But I weak, hungry, and willing only for the chance
Of line– to fight in the line, lay down under unbroken
Wires, and saw the flashes and kept unshaken,
Till the politest voice– a finicking accent, said:
‘Do you think you might crawl through there: there’s a hole.’
Darkness shot at: I smiled, as politely replied–
‘I’m afraid not, Sir.’ There was no hole no way to be seen,
Nothing but chance of death, after tearing of clothes.
Kept flat, and watched the darkness, hearing bullets whizzing–
And thought of music– and swore deep heart’s deep oaths
(Polite to God) and retreated and came on again,
Again retreated– and a second time faced the screen.