An officer, whistle between his lips
Was watching his wristwatch’s skips;
But a soldier shouts: “It’s time, Sir!”
And yet the lieutenant does not stir.
The confused men look at each other;
He turns pale; clutches firmly his ladder.
“Not yet. The hand is not quite there.
- Then where?”
For above, a cloud of green gas arose
And towards the British the wind blows.
The officer has not yet noticed the scene:
“Y-You see, Jones, it was striking thirteen.”