Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

The Married Man


Reservist of the Line


The bachelor 'e fights for one
As joyful as can be;
But the married man don't call it fun,
Because 'e fights for three --
For 'Im an' 'Er an' It
(An' Two an' One make Three)
'E wants to finish 'is little bit,
An' e' wants to go 'ome to is tea!

The bachelor pokes up 'is 'ead
To see if you are gone;
But the married man lies down instead,
An' waits till the sights come on,
For 'im an' 'Er an' a hit
(Direct or recochee)
'E wants to finish 'is little bit,
An' 'e wants to go 'ome to 'is tea.

The bachelor will miss you clear
To fight another day;
But the married man, 'e says "No fear!"
'E wants you out of the way
Of 'Im an' 'Er an' It
(An' 'is road to 'is farm or the sea),
'E wants to finish 'is little bit,
An' 'e wants to go 'ome to 'is tea.

The bachelor 'e fights 'is fight
An' streches out an' snores;
But the married man sits up all night --
For 'e don't like out-o'-doors.
'E'll strain an' listen an' peer
An' give the first alarm--
For the sake o' the breathin' 'e's used to 'ear,
An' the 'ead on the thick of 'is arm.

The bachelor may risk 'is 'ide
To 'elp you when you're downed;
But the married man will wait beside
Till the ambulance comes round.
'E'll take your 'ome address
An' all you've time to say,
Or if 'e sees there's 'ope, 'e'll press
Your art'ry 'alf the day --

For 'Im an' 'Er an' It
(An' One from Three leaves Two),
For 'e knows you wanted to finish your bit,
An' 'e knows 'oo's wantin' you.
Yes, 'Im an' 'Er an' It
(Our 'only One in Three),
We're all of us anxious to finish our bit,
An' we want to get 'ome to our tea!

Yes, It an' 'Er an' 'Im,
Which often makes me think
The married man must sink or swim
An' -- 'e can't afford to sink!
Oh, 'Im an' It an' 'Er
Since Adam an' Eve began!
So I'd rather fight with the bacheler
An' be nursed by the married man!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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