Marriott Edgar ( )

Marksman Sam

When Sam Small joined the regiment,
E were no but a raw recruit,
And they marched im away one wintry day,
Is musket course to shoot.

They woke im up at the crack o dawn,
Wi many a nudge and shake,
E were dreaming that t Sergeant ad broke is neck,
And e didnt want to wake.

Lieutenant Bird came on parade,
And chided the lads for mooning,
E talked in a voice like a pound o plums,
Is tonsils needed pruning.

Move to the right by fours, he said,
Crisp like but most severe,
But Sam didnt know is right from is left,
So pretended e didnt ear.

Said Lieutenant, Sergeant, take this mans name.
The Sergeant took out is pencil,
E were getting ashamed o taking Sams name,
And were thinking o cutting a stencil.

Sam carried a musket, a knapsack and coat,
Spare boots that ed managed to wangle,
A atchet, a spade... in fact, as Sam said,
Ed got everything bar tkitchen mangle.

March easy men, Lieutenant cried,
As the musket range grew near,
March easy me blushing Aunt Fanny, said Sam,
What a chance with all this ere.

When they told im to fire at five undred yards,
Sam nearly ad a fit,
For a six foot wall, or the Albert All,
Were all e were likely to it.

Ed fitted a cork in is musket end,
To keep is powder dry,
And e didnt remember to take it out,
The first time e let fly.

Is gun went off with a kind o pop,
Where is bullet went no-one knew,
But next day they spoke of a tinkers moke,
Being killed by a cork... in Crewe.

At three undred yards, Sam shut is eyes,
And took a careful aim,
E failed to score but the marker swore,
And walked away quite lame.

At two undred yards, Sam fired so wild,
That the Sergeant feared for is skin,
And the lads all cleared int t neighbouring field,
And started to dig emselves in.

Ooh, Sergeant! I hear a scraping noise,
Said Sam, What can it be?
The noise that e eard were lieutenant Bird,
Oo were climbing the nearest tree.

Ooh, Sergeant! said Sam, Ive it the bull!
What price my shooting now?
Said the Sergeant, A bull? Yer gormless fool,
Yon isnt a bull... its a cow!

At fifty yards is musket kicked,
And went off with a noise like a blizzard,
And down came a crow looking fair surprised,
With a ram-rod through is gizzard.

As e loaded is musket to fire agen,
Said the Sergeant, Dont waste shot!
Yerd best fix bayonets and charge, my lad,
Its the only chance yerve got.

Sam kept loading is gun while the Sergeant spoke,
Till the bullets peeped out of the muzzle,
When all of a sudden it went off bang!
What made it go were a puzzle.

The bullets flew out in a kind of a spray,
And everything round got peppered,
When they counted is score... ed got eight bulls eyes,
Four magpies, two lambs and a shepherd.

And the Sergeant for this got a D.C.M.
And the Colonel an O.B.E.
Lieutenant Bird got the D.S.O.
And Sam got... five days C.B.

Marriott Edgar's other poems:
  1. Albert and the Eadsman
  2. Alberts Return
  3. Henry the Seventh
  4. Queen Matilda
  5. Richard Coeur-de-Lion

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