Into the Line
The desert's glazed with the moonlight glow All the stars are out for this fateful show And the men string out in a long black row The Jocks going into the line.
The only sounds are the muffled tread The whispered order urgently said The dislodged stone at the wadi head The Jocks going into the line.
The fronds that swayed on the palms by day Are rigidly still, their arms aspray Dim black streaks on silver grey The Jocks going into the line.
The Boche is cursed under laboured breath The bastards are promised a ling'ring death Shell smoke hangs like a ghostly wraith The Jocks going into the line.
What fate's in store on that ridge ahead Will the welcome be a hail of lead "Why the hell can't we stay in bed?" The Jocks going into the line.
The fitful light of a dropping flare A sentry's "Halt" and "Who Goes There?" A bayonet gleams in the sultry glare The Jocks going into the line.
Stillness reigns, the stumbling row Is sited, ready for the foe Keen eyes search dawn's breaking glow The Jocks have gone into the line.
Written in February 1943. East of Ben Gardane.
- The Voice of War -- Michael Joseph Ltd (1995)