Sir Henry Newbolt

(1862 - 1938 / Bilston / England)

The Toy Band - Poem by Sir Henry Newbolt

A Song of the Great Retreat

Dreary lay the long road, dreary lay the town,
Lights out and never a glint o' moon:
Weary lay the stragglers, half a thousand down,
Sad sighed the weary big Dragoon.
"Oh! if I'd a drum here to make them take the road again,
Oh! if I'd a fife to wheedle, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,
Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife and drum!

"Hey, but here's a toy shop, here's a drum for me,
Penny whistles too to play the tune!
Half a thousand dead men soon shall hear and see
We're a band!" said the weary big Dragoon.
Rubadub! Rubadub! Wake and take the road again,
Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,
Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife and drum!"

Cheerly goes the dark road, cheerly goes the night,
Cheerly goes the blood to keep the beat;
Half a thousand dead men marching on to fight
With a little penny drum to lift their feet.
Rubadub! Rubadub! Wake, and take the raod again,
Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,
Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife and drum!

As long as there's an Englishman to ask a tale of me,
As long as I can tell the tale aright,
We'll not forget the penny whistle's wheedle-deedle-dee
And the big Dragoon a-beating down the night,
Rubadub! Rubadub! Wake and take the road again,
Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,
Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife, and drum!


Comments about The Toy Band by Sir Henry Newbolt

  • (2/25/2014 4:46:00 PM)


    I believe this poem by Sir Henry Newbolt which was later set to music by Sir Richard Paget and published by Curwen & Son,24 Burners St. W1 was dedicated to the men of The 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards who were the first British soldiers to come into conflict with the Germans on the morning of the 22nd August 1914 at the village of Casteau in Belgium. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sad, moon, song, night, dark, shopping



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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