Banjo Paterson Poems
Long ago the Gladiators,
When the call to combat came,
Marching past the massed spectators,
Hailed the Emp'ror with acclaim!
Voices ringing with the fury
Of the strife so soon to be,
Cried, "O Caesar, morituri
Nowadays the massed spectators
See the unaccustomed sight --
Marching to their last great fight;
Young and old, obscure and famous,
Hand to hand and knee to knee --
Hear the war-cry, "Salutamus
Fight! Nor be the fight suspended
Till the corpses strew the plain. ...
I ain't a timid man at all, I'm just as brave as most,
I'll take my chance in open fight and die beside my post;
But riding round the 'ole day long as target for a Krupp,
A-drawing fire from Koppies -- well, I'm fair fed up.
It's wonderful how few get hit, it's luck that pulls us through;
Their rifle fire's no class at all, it misses me and you;
But when they sprinkle shells around like water from a cup
From that there blooming pom-pom gun -- well, I'm fed up.