Prose & Poetry - War Poetry of S J Robinson - Don't Judge Us

Austrian Skoda 305mm howitzer Reproduced within this area of the site are present-day First World War poems written by S. J. Robinson.  Click here for an introduction to the poems.

Don't Judge Us

How close would you come to breaking
In conditions we have survived -
Defending, attacking and killing all hope
Losing friends, taking enemies lives

Have you ever slept beside a dead friend?
Been flung about by a blast?
Sent out to the wire on nightly patrol
When each movement could be your last?

Have you ever lain out in No-man's land
With a wound and in terrible pain
Just waited and wondered and shivering and cold
All your rescuers slayed in the rain?

Have you trudged through water that's up past your knees?
Felt the rats that will play in your hair?
Heard a man die of wounds when you can't fetch him back
Ever seen that e'er-pleading stare?

Experienced 'trench humour' when all else is lost
Had a mate blown to bits by your side
But, no, We're neurasthenic, and you all know best
And would all our memory deride

'Strafing' is attacking ground troops by machine guns fired from low-flying aircraft.

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