I do what I can


I do what I can; I'm a military man

And I fear that no-one else knows how

To unlock the stalemate, make the breakthrough,

And that's what our bleeding nation needs now

I must send men to die, wave after wave

So slowly they walk, obedient and brave.

Some will return, some God will save

And the rest they will find

A white headstone'd grave

I'll bear the burden to the grave - and beyond

So what will men say of me when I'm gone?

The day will come when my soul will be weighed

My answer to God - and I have only one ;

I did what was asked - I plied my trade

What more could I do, when all's said and done?

General Haig knew the suffering of his men.

He refused to be painted by an artist in 1917 insisting that he paint the men "who are fighting and dying in the mud".

© nigel hallworth 2014