Morning after the Barrage at El Alamein

Commonwealth cemetery Alamein - Copy

There’s a Devil in the dawn –
Horrific spawn of last night’s hideous moon,
That hung above the gun’s inferno
And smiled on men who died too soon.

There’s a Devil in the dawn –
See him fawn on those who served him well,
Who, blinded, deafened, breathed the cordite reek,
Fed the ravening guns, and swore that it was hell.

The Devil will demand his pay
In blood to-day; but those who pass in sunlight will
not see the Moon
Serenely light a desert hell for men who live
And smile on those who die too soon.


Bombardier F. E. Hughes



Taken from the anthology: ‘Poems from the Desert – Verses by members of the Eighth Army’.
Published by George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd.

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