(Rudyard Kipling)

Barrack-Room Ballads. 37. The Eathen

The eathen in is blindness bows down to wood an stone;
E dont obey no orders unless they is is own;
E keeps is side-arms awful: e leaves em all about,
An then comes up the regiment an pokes the eathen out.

      All along o dirtiness, all along o mess,   
      All along o doin things rather-more-or-less,   
      All along of abby-nay,  1 kul, 2 an hazar-ho, 3    
      Mind you keep your rifle an yourself jus so!

The young recruit is aughty e drafs from Gawd knows where;
They bid im show is stockins an lay is mattress square;
E calls it bloomin nonsense e doesnt know no more 
An then up comes is Company an kicks im round the floor!

The young recruit is ammered e takes it very ard;
E angs is ead an mutters e sulks about the yard;
E talks o cruel tyrants ell swing for by-an-by,
An the others ears an mocks im, an the boy goes orf to cry.

The young recruit is silly e thinks o suicide;
Es lost is gutter-devil; e asnt got is pride;
But day by day they kicks im, which elps im on a bit,
Till e finds isself one mornin with a full an proper kit.

      Gettin clear o dirtiness, gettin done with mess,   
      Gettin shut o doin things rather-more-or-less;   
      Not so fond of abby-nay, kul, nor hazar-ho,   
      Learns to keep is rifle an isself jus so!
The young recruit is appy e throws a chest to suit;
You see im grow mustaches; you ear im slap is boot;
E learns to drop the bloodies from every word e slings,
An e shows an ealthy brisket when e strips for bars an rings.

The cruel-tyrant-sergeants they watch im arf a year;
They watch im with is comrades, they watch im with is beer;
They watch im with the women at the regimental dance,
And the cruel-tyrant-sergeants send is name along for Lance.

An now es arf o nothin, an all a private yet,
Is room they up an rags im to see what they will get;
They rags im low an cunnin, each dirty trick they can,
But e learns to sweat is temper an e learns to sweat is man.

An, last, a Colour-Sergeant, as such to be obeyed,
E schools is men at cricket, e tells em on parade;
They sees em quick an andy, uncommon set an smart,
An so e talks to orficers which ave the Core at eart.

E learns to do is watchin without it showin plain;
E learns to save a dummy, an shove im straight again;
E learns to check a ranker thats buyin leave to shirk;
An e learns to make men like im so theyll learn to like their work.

An when it comes to marchin hell see their socks are right,
An when it comes to action e shows em ow to sight;
E knows their ways of thinkin and just whats in their mind;
E knows when they are takin on an when theyve fell beind.

E knows each talkin corpril that leads a squad astray;
E feels is innards eavin, is bowels givin way;
E sees the blue-white faces all tryin ard to grin,
An e stands an waits an suffers till its time to cap em in.

An now the hugly bullets come peckin through the dust,
An no one wants to face em, but every beggar must;
So, like a man in irons which isnt glad to go,
They moves em off by companies uncommon stiff an slow.

Of all is five years schoolin they dont remember much
Excep the not retreatin, the step an keepin touch.
It looks like teachin wasted when they duck an spread an op,
But if e adnt learned em theyd be all about the shop!

An now its  Oo goes backward? an now its  Oo comes on?
And now its Get the doolies, an now the captains gone;
An now its bloody murder, but all the while they ear
Is voice, the same as barrick drill, a-shepherdin the rear.

Es just as sick as they are, is eart is like to split,
But e works em, works em, works em till he feels em take the bit;
The rest is oldin steady till the watchful bugles play,
An e lifts em, lifts em, lifts em through the charge that wins the day!

      The eathen in is blindness bows down to wood an stone;   
      E dont obey no orders unless they is is own;   
      The eathen in is blindness must end where e began,   
      But the backbone of the Army is the non-commissioned man! 
      Keep away from dirtiness  keep away from mess.   
      Dont get into doin things rather-more-or-less!   
      Lets ha done with abby-nay, kul, an hazar-ho;   
      Mind you keep your rifle an yourself jus so!

1  Not now.
2  To-morrow.
3  Wait a bit.

. 37.

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́, , : , . ; -, . .: The Complete Ballad-Room Ballads of Rudyard Kipling. Edited by Charles Carrington. London. Methuen & Co Ltd. 1974. P. 164.

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