Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > The Old Huntsman and Other Poems

Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967).  The Old Huntsman and Other Poems.  1918.

13. In the Pink

SO Davies wrote: ‘This leaves me in the pink’. 
Then scrawled his name: ‘Your loving sweetheart, Willie’. 
With crosses for a hug. He’d had a drink 
Of rum and tea; and, though the barn was chilly, 
For once his blood ran warm; he had pay to spend.         5
Winter was passing; soon the year would mend. 
But he couldn’t sleep that night; stiff in the dark 
He groaned and thought of Sundays at the farm, 
And how he’d go as cheerful as a lark 
In his best suit, to wander arm in arm  10
With brown-eyed Gwen, and whisper in her ear 
The simple, silly things she liked to hear. 
And then he thought: to-morrow night we trudge 
Up to the trenches, and my boots are rotten. 
Five miles of stodgy clay and freezing sludge,  15
And everything but wretchedness forgotten. 
To-night he’s in the pink; but soon he’ll die. 
And still the war goes on—he don’t know why. 



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