Gurney, Ivor - The Silent One
Type of Spiritual Experience
David Bomberg - Sappers at Work
A description of the experience
The Silent One
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?' In the afraid
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.