by Katharine Lee Bates
At the crowded gangway they kissed good-bye.
He had half a mind to scold her.
An officer's mother and not keep dry
The epaulet on his shoulder.
He had forgotten mother and fame,
His mind in a blood-mist floated,
But when reeling back from carnage they came,
One told him: "You are promoted!"
His friend smiled up from the wet red sand,
The look was afar, eternal,
But he tried to salute with his shattered hand:
"Room now for another colonel!"
Again he raged in that lurid hell
Where the country he loved had thrown him.
"You are promoted!" shrieked a shell.
His mother would not have known him.