Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Black Dudeen


Humping it here in the dug-out,
Sucking me black dudeen,
I'd like to say in a general way,
There's nothing like Nickyteen;
There's nothing like Nickyteen, me boys,
Be it pipes or snipes or cigars;
So be sure that a bloke
Has plenty to smoke,
If you wants him to fight your wars.

When I've eat my fill and my belt is snug,
I begin to think of my baccy plug.
I whittle a fill in my horny palm,
And the bowl of me old clay pipe I cram.
I trim the edges, I tamp it down,
I nurse a light with an anxious frown;
I begin to draw, and my cheeks tuck in,
And all my face is a blissful grin;
And up in a cloud the good smoke goes,
And the good pipe glimmers and fades and glows;
In its throat it chuckles a cheery song,
For I likes it hot and I likes it strong.
Oh, it's good is grub when you're feeling hollow,
But the best of a meal's the smoke to follow.

There was Micky and me on a night patrol,
Having to hide in a fizz-bang hole;
And sure I thought I was worse than dead
Wi' them crump-crumps hustlin' over me head.
Sure I thought 'twas the dirty spot,
Hammer and tongs till the air was hot.
And mind you, water up to your knees.
And cold! A monkey of brass would freeze.
And if we ventured our noses out
A "typewriter" clattered its pills about.
The Field of Glory! Well, I don't think!
I'd sooner be safe and snug in clink.

Then Micky, he goes and he cops one bad,
He always was having ill-luck, poor lad.
Says he: "Old chummy, I'm booked right through;
Death and me 'as a wrongday voo.
But . . . 'aven't you got a pinch of shag? --
I'd sell me perishin' soul for a fag."
And there he shivered and cussed his luck,
So I gave him me old black pipe to suck.
And he heaves a sigh, and he takes to it
Like a babby takes to his mammy's tit;
Like an infant takes to his mother's breast,
Poor little Micky! he went to rest.

But the dawn was near, though the night was black,
So I left him there and I started back.
And I laughed as the silly old bullets came,
For the bullet ain't made wot's got me name.
Yet some of 'em buzzed onhealthily near,
And one little blighter just chipped me ear.
But there! I got to the trench all right,
When sudden I jumped wi' a start o' fright,
And a word that doesn't look well in type:
I'd clean forgotten me old clay pipe.

So I had to do it all over again,
Crawling out on that filthy plain.
Through shells and bombs and bullets and all --
Only this time -- I do not crawl.
I run like a man wot's missing a train,
Or a tom-cat caught in a plump of rain.
I hear the spit of a quick-fire gun
Tickle my heels, but I run, I run.
Through crash and crackle, and flicker and flame,
(Oh, the packet ain't issued wot's got me name!)
I run like a man that's no ideer
Of hunting around for a sooveneer.
I run bang into a German chap,
And he stares like an owl, so I bash his map.
And just to show him that I'm his boss,
I gives him a kick on the parados.
And I marches him back with me all serene,
Wiv, tucked in me grup, me old dudeen.

Sitting here in the trenches
Me heart's a-splittin' with spleen,
For a parcel o' lead comes missing me head,
But it smashes me old dudeen.
God blast that red-headed sniper!
I'll give him somethin' to snipe;
Before the war's through
Just see how I do
That blighter that smashed me pipe.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Friday, December 30, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: hunting, cat, war, song, rain, mother, fire, red, water, death, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Black Dudeen by Robert William Service )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  10. Invictus, William Ernest Henley

Poem of the Day

poet Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Marriage and morals., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  2. For her age, hasmukh amathalal
  3. Old Hopes and New Shoes, Charles Hancock
  4. Pressure Of Racism, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Activities of life., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  6. Wanderer at the hills of freedom, ABAYOMI OGUNNIYI
  7. Expressing Self, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. JULEKALENDER # X, Gunnar Mo.
  9. Raise voice against terrorism and racism, Aftab Alam
  10. Passion, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
[Hata Bildir]