(Our Army in the East)
To-night, God knows what thing shall tide,
The Earth is racked and fain--
Expectant, sleepless, open-eyed;
And we, who from the Earth were made,
Speakin' in general, I 'ave tried 'em all,
The 'appy roads that take you o'er the world.
Speakin' in general, I 'ave found them good
For such as cannot use one bed too long,
We're marchin' on relief over Injia's sunny plains,
A little front o' Christmas-time an' just be'ind the Rains;
Ho! get away you bullock-man, you've 'eard the bugle blowed,
There's a regiment a-comin' down the Grand Trunk Road;
Smokin' my pipe on the mountings, sniffin' the mornin' cool,
I walks in my old brown gaiters along o' my old brown mule,
With seventy gunners be'ind me, an' never a beggar forgets
It's only the pick of the Army
I met my mates in the morning (and oh, but I am old!)
Where roaring on the ledges the summer ground-swell rolled;
I heard them lift the chorus that dropped the breakers' song --
The beaches of Lukannon -- two million voices strong!
God rest you, peaceful gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
It was an artless Bandar, and he danced upon a pine,
And much I wondered how he lived, and where the beast might dine,
And many, many other things, till, o'er my morning smoke,
I slept the sleep of idleness and dreamt that Bandar spoke.
I was very well pleased with what I knowed,
I reckoned myself no fool --
Till I met with a maid on the Brookland Road,
That turned me back to school.
In the daytime, when she moved about me,
In the night, when she was sleeping at my side, --
I was wearied, I was wearied of her presence.
Day by day and night by night I grew to hate her --