Saturday, December 1, 2007


A Soldier Swell

Lord, wouldn’t he swank it in Leicester Square,
Or strolling along the Strand,
His glass a goggle in one glad eye
And his gold-tipped cane in hand.

“Bai Jove, what! what!” I can hear him say,
This swaddy remittance man;
In Cairo we heckled him right and left
As only our soldiers can.

I heard his “damn” as the bullets sang
And the hillsides flashed with flame,
In April days where history framed
With laurels Australia’s name.

His bayonet flashed in the misty dawn
And his blue blood blazed to flame,
He was up in the van where the best men go
In our first red dash to fame.

There was never a sortie or risky stunt
(There were always enough to spare),
When death lurked grinning in every bush,
That “Percival” was not there..

Theres a wooden cross on the Anzac slopes,
On his grave in the red-drown clay,
Where a brave man sleeps his long last sleep
Or I wouldn’t be here to-day.

What wouldn’t I forfeit to have him here
With his monocle swank and cane,
To hear the words that we loved to mock
Fall pat from his lips again.

He was a fellow we loved to bait,
The knut with a capital “K,”
But I’d give the best that I own and more
To have him with me to-day.

For he proved his breed when the bolts were loosed
Out there frm the gates of hell,
And he died as game as a soldier may,
This Percy, the soldier swell.


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