Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Sniper


Because back home in Tennessee
I was a champeen shot,
They made a sniper outa me
An' ninety krouts I got:
I wish to Christ I'd not!

Athinkin' o' them blasted lives
It's kindo' blue I be;
Them lads no doubt had kids an' wives
An' happy home like me:
Them stiffs I still can see.

Aye, ninety men or more my hand
Has hustled down to hell;
They've loaded me with medals and
They tell me I done well:
A hero for a spell.

But Heaven help me to forget
Them fellow men I've slain,
The bubbling flow of blood I've let . . .
I'll never kill again:
To swat flies gives me pain.

Just let me dream when we will see
And end of soldierin';
When flags of famous victory
Will be amoulderin':
An' lethal steel an' battle blast
Be nightmares of the past.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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