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Snarleyow

This 'appened in a battle
to a batt'ry of the corps
Which is first among the women an'
amazin' first in war;
An' what the bloomin' battle
was I don't remember now,
But Two's off-lead* 'e answered
to the name o' Snarleyow.

Down in the Infantry, nobody cares;
Down in the Cavalry, Colonel 'e swears;
But down in the lead
with the wheel at the flog
Turns the bold Bombardier
to a little whipped dog!

They was movin' into action,
they was needed very sore,
To learn a little schoolin'
to a native army corps,
They 'ad nipped against an uphill,
they was tuckin' down the brow,
When a tricky, trundlin' roundshot
give the knock to Snarleyow.

They cut 'im loose an' left 'im -
'e was almost tore in two -
But he tried to follow after
as a well-trained 'orse should do;
'E went an' fouled the limber, an'
the Driver's Brother squeals:
"Pull up, pull up for Snarleyow -
'is head's between 'is 'eels!"

The Driver 'umped 'is shoulder,
for the wheels was goin' round,
An' there ain't no "Stop, conductor!"
when a batt'ry's changin' ground;
Sez 'e: "I broke the beggar in,
an' very sad I feels,
But I couldn't pull up, not for you -
your 'ead between your 'eels!"

'E 'adn't 'ardly spoke the word,
before a droppin' shell
A little right the batt'ry an'
between the sections fell;
An' when the smoke 'ad cleared away,
before the limber wheels,
There lay the Driver's Brother
with 'is 'ead between 'is 'eels.

Then sez the Driver's Brother, an'
'is words was very plain,
"For Gawd's own sake get over me,
an' put me out o' pain."
They saw 'is wounds was mortial,
an' they judged that it was best,
So they took an' drove the limber
straight across 'is back an' chest.

The Driver 'e give nothin'
'cept a little coughin' grunt,
But 'e swung 'is 'orses
'andsome when it came to "Action Front!"
An' if one wheel was juicy,
you may lay your Monday head
'Twas juicier for the niggers
when the case begun to spread.

The moril of this story,
it is plainly to be seen:
You 'aven't got no families
when servin' of the Queen -
You 'aven't got no brothers,
fathers, sisters, wives, or sons -
If you want to win your battles
take an' work your bloomin' guns!

Down in the Infantry,
nobody cares;
Down in the Cavalry,
Colonel 'e swears;
But down in the lead with
the wheel at the flog
Turns the bold Bombardier
to a little whipped dog!

- Rudyard Kipling




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