"They are fools who kiss and tell" --
Wisely has the poet sung.
Man may hold all sorts of posts
If he'll only hold his tongue.
By the well, where the bullocks go
Silent and blind and slow --
By the field where the young corn dies
In the face of the sultry skies,
("Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they
cover themselves with their works: their works are works
of inquity and the act of violence is in their hands." --
Isaiah lix. 6.)
For all we have and are,
For all our children's fate,
Stand up and meet the war.
The Hun is at the gate!
To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.
See you the ferny ride that steals
Into the oak-woods far?
O that was whence they hewed the keels
That rolled to Trafalgar.
I'm 'ere in a ticky ulster an' a broken billycock 'at,
A-layin' on the sergeant I don't know a gun from a bat;
My shirt's doin' duty for jacket, my sock's stickin' out o' my boots,
An' I'm learnin' the damned old goose-step along o' the new recruits!
"What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
"To turn you out, to turn you out", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade.
"I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch", the Colour-Sergeant said.
One moment bid the horses wait,
Since tiffin is not laid till three,
Below the upward path and straight
You climbed a year ago with me.
What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre.
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?