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Robert Graves (1895–1985). Fairies and Fusiliers. 1918.

16. The Last Post

THE BUGLER sent a call of high romance—

“Lights out! Lights out!” to the deserted square.

On the thin brazen notes he threw a prayer,

“God, if it’s this for me next time in France…

O spare the phantom bugle as I lie

Dead in the gas and smoke and roar of guns,

Dead in a row with the other broken ones

Lying so stiff and still under the sky,

Jolly young Fusiliers too good to die.”