Rudyard Kipling ( )


Barrack-Room Ballads. 52. Stellenbosch. Composite Columns


The General eard the firin on the flank,
An e sent a mounted man to bring im back
The silly, pushin persons name an rank
Ood dared to answer Brother Boers attack:
For there might ave been a serious engagement,
An e might ave wasted alf a dozen men;
So e ordered im to stop is operations round the kopjes,
An e told im off before the Staff at ten!

And it all goes into laundry,
But it never comes out in the wash,
Ow were sugared about by the old men
(Eavy-sterned amateur old men!)
That amper an inder an scold men
For fear o Stellenbosch!

The General ad produced a great effect,
The General ad the country cleared  almost;
And the Boers ad us bloomin well on toast!
For we might ave crossed the drift before the twilight,
Instead o sitting down an takin root;
But we was not allowed, so the Boojers scooped the crowd,
To the last survivin bandolier an boot.

The General saw the farmouse in is rear,
With its stoep so nicely shaded from the sun;
Sez e, Ill pith my tabernacle ere,
An e kept us muckin round till e ad done.
For e might ave caught the confluent pneumonia
>From sleepin in his gaiters in a dew;
So e took a book an dozed while the other columns closed,
And De Wets commando out an trickled through!

The General saw the mountain-range ahead,
With their elios showin saucy on the eight, 
So e eld us to the level ground instead,
An telegraphed the Boojers wouldnt fight.
For e might ave gone an sprayed em with a pompom,
Or e might ave slung a squadron out to see 
But e wasnt takin chances in them igh an ostile kranzes 
He was markin time to earn a K.C.B.

The General got is decorations thick
(The men that backed is lies could not complain),
The Staff ad D.S.O.s till we was sick,
An the soldier  ad the work to do again!
For e might ave known the District was an otbed,
Instead of andin over, upside-down,
To a man oo ad to fight alf a year to put it right,
While the General sat an slandered im in town!

An it all went into the laundry,
But it never came out in the wash.
We were sugared about by the old men
(Panicky, perishin old men)
 That amper an inder an scold men
For fear o Stellenbosch!



Rudyard Kipling's other poems:
  1. Barrack-Room Ballads. 12. Snarleyow
  2. Debits and Credits. (1919-1926). 6. Late Came the God
  3. Debits and Credits. (1919-1926). 18. The Last Ode
  4. Brazilian Verses. 1927. 3. Song of the Dynamo
  5. Limits and Renewals. 1932. 15. The Curé


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