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Poem by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Guards Came Through (1919). 15. Christmas in Wartime (Christmas in Trouble)


Cheer oh, comrades, we can bide the blast
And face the gloom until it shall grow lighter.
What though one Christmas should be overcast,
If duty done makes all the others brighter.


We seldom were quick off the mark,
And sprinting was never our game;
But when it's insistence and hold-for-the-distance,
We've never been beat at that same.

The first lap was all to the Hun,
At the second we still saw his back;
But we knew how to wait and to spurt down the straight,
Till we left him dead-beat on the track.

He's a bluffer for all he is worth,
But he's winded and done to the core, So the last lap is here, with the tape very near,
And the old colours well to the fore.


Not merry! Nothe words would grate,
With gaps at every table-side,
But chastened, thankful, calm, sedate,
Be your victorious Christmas-tide.

[The part below has been added for 
his 1921-1922 christmas card]


"Now for Peace and now for plenty !"
So we said in 1920.
Alas there followed fire and flood,
1920 proved a dud.

But we were not to be done,
"Stand by now for '21 !"
Economic strife and bother !
It was dudder than the other.

Well we raise our peckers still,
'22 may fill the bill,
When old Ireland troubles not.
And the Trotskys cease to trot.

We hope soand we wear meanwhile
Our patent shock-absorbing smile.
But whatever fate may do.
We send our greeting out to you. 

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle's other poems:
  1. Songs of the Road (1911). 8. The Outcasts
  2. Songs of the Road (1911). 17. Man's Limitation
  3. Songs of the Road (1911). 4. A Post-Impressionist
  4. Songs of the Road (1911). 27. Sexagenarius Loquitur
  5. The Guards Came Through (1919). 7. Grousing

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