First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Poetic Injustice


A Scottish fighting man whose wife Turned false and tempted his best friend, Finding no future need for life Resolved he'd win a famous end.

Bayonet and bomb this wild man took, And Death in every shell-hole sought, Yet there Death only made him hook To dangle bait that others caught.

A hundred German wives soon owed Their widows' weeds to this one man Who also guided down Death's road Scores of the Scots of his own clan.

Seventeen wounds he got in all And jingling medals four or five. Often in trenches at night-fall He was the one man left alive.

But fickle wife and paramour Were strangely visited from above, Were lightning-struck at their own door About the third week of their love.

'Well, well' you say, man wife and friend Ended as quits' but I say not: While that false pair met a clean end Without remorse, how fares the Scot?

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