by War Poet Henry Chappell (1874 -1937)
Only a dying horse! Pull off the gear,
And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws,
Drag it aside there, leave the roadway clear
The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.
Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies
With quivering limbs as fast the life tide fails,
Dark films are closing o'er the faithful eyes
That mutely plead for aid where none avails.
Onward the battery roll, but one there speeds
Heedless of comrade's voice or bursting shell,
Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds
Beside the stony highway where it fell.
Only a dying horse! He swiftly kneels,
Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh
Kisses his friend. While down his cheek there steals
Sweet pity's tear; ‘Goodbye Old Man, Goodbye'
No honours wait him, Medal, Badge or Star,
Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold;
He bears within his breast, more precious far
Beyond the gift of Kings, a heart of gold.