Goodbye

This is a famous painting with a poem that also belongs to it, but this is what I saw in this beautiful picture.

Such was the use of horses on the Western Front, that over 8 million died on all sides fighting in the war. Two and a half million horses were treated in veterinary hospitals with about two million being sufficiently cured that they could return to duty. Toward the end of the war tactics were starting to change, although horses were still used in Cavalry charges they were no longer viable, in one charge out of 150 horses only 3 survived, the rest were mown down by machine gun fire.
My book World War One in Verse is available, I will donate 50% of my royalties to the RBL.

Goodbye

Goodbye old friend, you’ve served me well;
you did your job throughout this hell.
Exhausted – now you’re lying here;
within your eyes I see the fear.

My pal is calling…let him go,
he’ll never learn, he’ll never know
how dire it is to lose a friend,
but I’ll stay with you to the end.

And if the Hun should come before
you’ve breathed your last in this damn war,
then, so be it, I’ll die with you,
for loyal friends must see it through

Until the end, when we’ll be seen
as one – once more on England’s green
and pleasant land for which we fought,
to plough God’s fields as we were taught.

I hear the bullets whizzing by,
the screaming men, the battle cry.
You lift your head to shield my heart,
and bullets tear your neck apart.

I hold you tight with bloodied hand,
I try to rise, I try to stand.
I feel the shrapnel from the shell–
Goodbye old friend, you served me well.

About the author

eric1
915 Up Votes
Hi, I am a grandfather of four beautiful Grandchildren, I have one son and three daughters, We lost Vickie to Cancer in December 2013, she was 23 years old, whoever said time heals haven't lost a child. My profile picture is of Vickie and I haven't changed it since she died, I have a wonderful loving wife without whom I would not have made it through. My escape is writing poetry, I have had five published to date, I now have two books published 'World War One In Verse' is available on Amazon books and 'Poetry From The Heart' is available on Amazon or Feed a Read, just enter the title and my name Eric Harvey.

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WendyB98
11th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
So sad to think of the terror all those beautiful horses suffered. Made me cry, brilliant poem well written.
eric1
13th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback Wendy, sorry it made you cry though x
AnnieB7
11th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Beautiful poem. So moving. Everyone remembers the fallen which is right, but we should also definitely remember all the wonderful brave horses and dogs that gave their lives so courageously.
eric1
13th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Hi AnnieB7, I was doing an anthology of WW1 poems and that is exactly why I wrote this, Millions of horses died in WW1, but there wasn't a poem about them, thank you for your comment x
Libbs
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
A beautiful poem ...brought tears to my eyes , my daughter has horses and they to have feelings , I can’t imagine what those poor men and their horses went through ...I am pleased to see the purple poppy in remembrance of the animals that lost their lives during the cruel war ..
eric1
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Hi Libbs, some unscrupulous people are slling the purple poppy for financial gain since the RBL stopped selling it, the RSPCA should take up the cause, thank you for your lovely comments x
Doreen Bent
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Very moving Eric made me cry thinking of them so sad .
eric1
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Hi doreen, there are very few poems regarding the millions of animals that were killed, that is why I wanted to write this, thanks for your comments. x
AnnH57
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
A very moving poem , I couldn't read the end through tears.
eric1
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
So sorry AnnH57, It was very emotional writing it too x
Stillgotit
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
That is a beautiful and moving poem. Thank you so much for recognising the suffering endured by so many animals who were forced into the depths of hell in WW1.
eric1
7th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
There are few poems written on this subject stillgotit, thank you for your comments.
Yodama
5th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Your beautiful poem made me cry Eric, too little is said about the animals who served, suffered and died.
eric1
6th Nov 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree Yodama, this is one of the reasons I wanted to write this x

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