Friday, August 10, 2007

The Lay of the Battle of Tombland

"Whatever you want is yours,"
Said the Man with the Lopside Head;
"Girls, diamonds, and motor cars,
If you'll love me, love me in bed."


So he prayed, and the sirens sang
Their wrongs, O sang to me
Lost in the blackout, "You're young
But wait till you're old as we."


I stayed where I was, afraid
to leave the Club Foot Man;
"Behind the mirror," he said, "we'll hide.
The dead have a death-ray plan."


"Welcome! Welcome!" the searchlights wrote.
"The End of the World is here."
They spelt their names and then went out,
And the poor lay everywhere.


What could I cry but "Bombs Away,"
When the Man who was Hunchback spoke.
"O live through this, andbe my boy,"
He laughed, and his true voice broke.


"God, by nimble," the dicers begged,
"Christ, be quick;" but they rolled too short,
Their fears embraced, and the whirlers bragged
"In our heartbreak arms is sport."


The Harelip Man knelt down to drink
Blood from the sewers, swore
"You'll kiss me yet, and you'll thank
Me later, later, after the war."


Through the air of flares the statues ran
Shrouded in silk. "Be warned,"
They wirelessed, "for marble men
Are the friends you never mourned."


O bathed in fire my mobster stood,
The Man with the Artificial Eyes,
"Falling in love with love," he said,
"Is falling in love with lies."


This piteous city gave up the ghost
In the toll of all her towers;
Parachute princes held me fast,
"Rest," they ordered, "the rest is ours."

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