Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Enigma


The Sergeant of a Highland Reg-
-Iment was drilling of his men;
With temper notably on edge
He blest them every now and then.
A sweet old lady standing by,
Was looking on with fascination,
And then she dared this question shy,
That pertubates the Celtic nation.

"Oh gentle Sergeant do not scold;
Please tell me, though your tone so curt is:
These bare-legged boys look sadly cold -
Do they wear wool beneath their skirties?
The Sergeant's face grew lobster red,
As one who sends a bloke to blazes . . .
Then: "round about turn, squad," he said;
"Now blast you! bend and pick up daises."

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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