Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
The Twa Jocks
Says Bauldy MacGreegor frae Gleska tae Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye:
"That's whit I hate maist aboot fechtin' -- it makes ye sae deevilish dry;
Noo jist hae a keek at yon ferm-hoose them Gairmans are poundin' sae fine,
Weel, think o' it, doon in the dunnie there's bottles and bottles o' wine.
A' hell's fairly belchin' oot yonner, but oh, lad, I'm ettlin' tae try. . . ."
"If it's poose she'll be with ye whateffer," says Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye.~
Says Bauldy MacGreegor frae Gleska: "Whit price fur a funeral wreath?
We're dodgin' a' kinds o' destruction, an' jist by the skin o' oor teeth.
Here, spread yersel oot on yer belly, and slither along in the glaur;
Confoond ye, ye big Hielan' deevil! Ye don't realize there's a war.
Ye think that ye're back in Dunvegan, and herdin' the wee bits o' kye."
"She'll neffer trink wine in Dunfegan," says Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye.~
Says Bauldy MacGreegor frae Gleska: "Thank goodness! the ferm-hoose at last;
There's no muckle left but the cellar, an' even that's vanishin' fast.
Look oot, there's the corpse o' a wumman, sair mangelt and deid by her lane.
Quick! Strike a match. . . . Whit did I tell ye! A hale bonny box o' shampane;
Jist knock the heid aff o' a bottle. . . . Haud on, mon, I'm hearing a cry. . . ."
"She'll think it's a wean that wass greetin'," says Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye.~
Says Bauldy MacGreegor frae Gleska: quot;Ma conscience! I'm hanged but yer richt.
It's yin o' thae waifs of the war-field, a' sobbin' and shakin' wi' fricht.
Wheesht noo, dear, we're no gaun tae hurt ye. We're takin' ye hame, my wee doo!
We've got tae get back wi' her, Hecky. Whit mercy we didna get fou!
We'll no touch a drap o' that likker -- that's hard, man, ye canna deny. . . ."
"It's the last thing she'll think o' denyin'," says Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye.
Says Bauldy MacGreegor frae Gleska: "If I should get struck frae the rear,
Ye'll tak' and ye'll shield the wee lassie, and rin for the lines like a deer.
God! Wis that the breenge o' a bullet? I'm thinkin' it's cracket ma spine.
I'm doon on ma knees in the glabber; I'm fearin', auld man, I've got mine.
Here, quick! Pit yer erms roon the lassie. Noo, rin, lad! good luck and good-by. . . .
"Hoots, mon! it's ye baith she'll be takin'," says Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye.~
Says Corporal Muckle frae Rannoch: "Is that no' a picture tae frame?
Twa sair woundit Jocks wi' a lassie jist like ma wee Jeannie at hame.
We're prood o' ye baith, ma brave heroes. We'll gie ye a medal, I think."
Says Bauldy MacGreegor frae Gleska: "I'd raither ye gied me a drink.
I'll no speak for Private MacCrimmon, but oh, mon, I'm perishin' dry. . . ."
"She'll wush that Loch Lefen wass whuskey," says Hecky MacCrimmon frae Skye.~
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