(Rudyard Kipling)






Barrack-Room Ballads. 46. The Parting of the Columns



... On the th instant a mixed detachment of Colonials left  for Cape Town, there to rejoin their respective homeward-bound contingents, after fifteen months service in the field. They were escorted to the station by the regular troops in garrison and the bulk of Colonel s column, which has just come in to refit, preparatory to further operations. The leave-taking was of the most cordial character, the men cheering each other continuously. 

                   Any Newspaper, during the South African War.

Weve rode and fought and ate and drunk 
  			as rations1 come to hand,
Together for a year and more 
  			around this stinkin land:
Now you are goin home again, 
  			but we must see it through.
We neednt tell we liked you well. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

You ad no special call to come, 
  			and so you doubled out,
And learned us how to camp and cook 
  			an steal a horse and scout.
Whatever game we fancied most, 
  			you joyful played it too,
And rather better on the whole. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

There isnt much we ave nt shared, 
  			since Kruger cut and run,
The same old work the same old skoff 
  			the same old dust and sun;
The same old chance that laid us out, 
  			or winked an let us through;
The same old Life, the same old Death. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

Our blood as truly mixed with yours  
  			all down the Red Cross train.
Weve bit the same thermometer 
  			in Bloeming-typhoidtein.2
Weve ad the same old temprature  
  			the same relapses too,
The same old saw-backed fever-chart. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

But twasnt merely this an that 
  			(which all the world may know),
Twas how you talked an looked at things 
  			which made us like you so.
All independent, queer an odd, 
  			but most amazin new,
My word! you shook us up to rights. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

Think o the stories round the fire, 
  			the tales along the trek 
O Calgary an Wellinton, 
  			an Sydney and Quebec;
Of mine an farm, an ranch an run, 
  			an moose an cariboo,
An parrots peckin lambs to death! 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

Weve seen your ome by word o mouth, 
  			weve watched your rivers shine,
Weve eard your bloomin forests 
  			blow of eucalip and pine;
Your young, gay countries north and south, 
  			we feel we own em too,
For they was made by rank an file. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you, 

Well never read the papers now 
  			without inquirin first
For word from all those friendly dorps 
  			where you was born an nursed.
Why, Dawson, Galle, an Montreal  
  			Port Darwin  Timaru,
Theyre only just across the road! 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you! 

Good-bye!  So  long! Dont lose yourselves  
  			nor us, nor all kind friends,
But tell the girls your side the drift 
  			were comin when it ends!
Good-bye, you bloomin Atlases! 
  			Youve taught us somethin new:
The worlds no bigger than a kraal. 
  			Good-bye  good luck to you!

1 Convoys were not seldom captured by the Boers.
2 There were several thousands of typhoid cases at Bloemfontein. 
Hence its name among the troops. 




. 46.



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31.08.-18.09.2011
    
   




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