Charge of the Light Brigade Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. `Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!' he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. `Forward, the Light Brigade!' Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldier knew ome one had blunder'd: Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred. Flash'd all their sabres bare, Flash'd as they turn'd in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder'd: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro' the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reel'd from the sabre-stroke Shatter'd and sunder'd. Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro' the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred. When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer, The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here." The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die, I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I: O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away"; But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play, The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play. I went into a theatre as sober as could be, They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me; They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls, But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls! For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside"; But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide, The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide, O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide. Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap; An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit. Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?" But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll, The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll, O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll. We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too, But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you; An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints, Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints; While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind", But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind, There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind, O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind. You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all: We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace. For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!" But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot; An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

The Last of the Light Brigade 1891

There were thirty million English who talked of England's might, There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night. They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade; They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade. They felt that life was fleeting; they kuew not that art was long, That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song. They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door; And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four! They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey; Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they; And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites." They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong, To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song; And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed, A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade. They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back; They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack; With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed, They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade. The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said, "You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead. An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell; For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell. "No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write A sort of 'to be conbnued' and 'see next page' o'the fight? We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell'em how? You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now." The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn. And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the sconrn of scorn." And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame, Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shamme. O thirty million English that babble of England's might, Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night; Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made --" And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

The absent-minded beggar

WHEN you've shouted " Rule Britannia," when you've sung " God save the Queen," When you've finished killing Kruger with your mouth, Will you kindly drop a shilling in my little tambourine For a gentleman in khaki ordered South? He's an , and his weaknesses are great - But we and Paul must take him as we find him - He is out on active service, wiping something off a slate And he's left a lot of little things behind him! Duke's son - cook's son - son of a hundred kings (Fifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay!) Each of 'em doing his country's work (and who's to look after their things?) Pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay - pay - pay ! There are girls he married secret, asking no permission to, For he knew he wouldn't get it if he did. There is gas and coals and vittles, and the house-rent falling due, And its more than rather likely there’s a kid. There are girls he’s walked with casual. They’ll be sorry now he’s gone, For an absent-minded beggar they will find him, But it ain’t the time for sermons with the winter coming on We must help the girl that Tommy’s left behind him! Cook's son - Duke's son - son of a belted Earl Son of a Lambeth publican - it's all the same to-day ! Each of 'em doing his country's work (and who's to look after the girl?) Pass the hat for your credit's sake, J1 and pay - pay - pay ! There are families by thousands, far too proud to beg or speak, And they'll put their sticks and bedding up the spout, And they'll live on half o' nothing, paid 'em punctual once a week, 'Cause the man that earns the wage is ordered out. He's an absent-minded beggar, but he heard his country call, And his reg'rnent didn't need to send to find him! He chucked his job and joined it - so the job before us all Is to help the home that Tommy's left behind him ! Duke's job - cook's job - gardener, baronet, groom. Mews or palace or paper-shop, there's someone gone away! Each of 'em doing his country's work (and who's to look after the room?) Pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay - pay - pay ! Let us manage so as, later, we can look him in the face, And tell him - what he'd very much prefer That, while he saved the Empire, his employer saved his place, And his mates (that's you and me) looked out for her. He's an absent-minded beggar and he may forget it all, But we do not want his kiddies to remind him That we sent 'em to the workhouse while their daddy hammered Paul, So we'll help the homes that Tommy left behind him ! Cook's home - Duke's home - home of a millionaire, (Fifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay !) Each of 'em doing his country's work (and what have you got to spare?) Pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay - pay - pay !

Brown Bess The Army Musket 1700-1815

IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise – An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade, With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes – At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess. Though her sight was not long and her weight was not small, Yet her actions were winning, her language was clear; And everyone bowed as she opened the ball On the arm of some high-gaitered, grim grenadier. Half Europe admitted the striking success Of the dances and routs that were given by . When ruffles were turned into stiff leather stocks, And people wore pigtails instead of perukes, Brown Bess never altered her iron-grey locks. She knew she was valued for more than her looks. "Oh, powder and patches was always my dress, And I think am killing enough," said Brown Bess. So she followed her red-coats, whatever they did, From the heights of Quebec to the plains of Assaye, From Gibraltar to Acre, Cape Town and Madrid, And nothing about her was changed on the way; (But most of the Empire which now we possess Was won through those years by old-fashioned Brown Bess.) In stubborn retreat or in stately advance, From the Portugal coast to the cork-woods of Spain, She had puzzled some excellent Marshals of France Till none of them wanted to meet her again: But later, near Brussels, Napoleon - no less – Arranged for a Waterloo ball with Brown Bess. She had danced till the dawn of that terrible day – She danced till the dusk of more terrible night, And before her linked squares his battalions gave way, And her long fierce quadrilles put his lancers to flight: And when his gilt carriage drove off in the press, "I have danced my last dance for the world!" said Brown Bess. If you go to Museums – there's one in Whitehall – Where old weapons are shown with their names writ beneath, You will find her, upstanding, her back to the wall, As stiff as a ramrod, the flint in her teeth. And if ever we English had reason to bless Any arm save our mothers', that arm is Brown Bess!

Gunga Din.

You may talk o' gin and beer When you're quartered safe out 'ere, An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it; But when it comes to slaughter You will do your work on water, An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it. Now in Injia's sunny clime, Where I used to spend my time A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen, Of all them blackfaced crew The finest man I knew Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din. He was "Din! Din! Din! You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din! Hi! slippery hitherao! Water, get it! Panee lao! You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din." The uniform 'e wore Was nothin' much before, An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind, For a piece o' twisty rag An' a goatskin water-bag Was all the field-equipment 'e could find. When the sweatin' troop-train lay In a sidin' through the day, Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl, We shouted "Harry By!" Till our throats were bricky-dry, Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all. It was "Din! Din! Din! You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been? You put some juldee in it Or I'll marrow you this minute If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!" 'E would dot an' carry one Till the longest day was done; An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear. If we charged or broke or cut, You could bet your bloomin' nut, 'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear. With 'is mussick on 'is back, 'E would skip with our attack, An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire", An' for all 'is dirty 'ide 'E was white, clear white, inside When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire! It was "Din! Din! Din!" With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green. When the cartridges ran out, You could hear the front-files shout, "Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!" I shan't forgit the night When I dropped be'ind the fight With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been. I was chokin' mad with thirst, An' the man that spied me first Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din. 'E lifted up my 'ead, An' he plugged me where I bled, An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green: It was crawlin' and it stunk, But of all the drinks I've drunk, I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din. It was "Din! Din! Din! 'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen; 'E's chawin' up the ground, An' 'e's kickin' all around: For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!" 'E carried me away To where a dooli lay, An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean. 'E put me safe inside, An' just before 'e died, "I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din. So I'll meet 'im later on At the place where 'e is gone -- Where it's always double drill and no canteen; 'E'll be squattin' on the coals Givin' drink to poor damned souls, An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din! Yes, Din! Din! Din! You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din! Though I've belted you and flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

The young British soldier.

When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East 'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast, An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier. Serve, serve, serve as a soldier, Serve, serve, serve as a soldier, Serve, serve, serve as a soldier, So-oldier OF the Queen! Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day, You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay, An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may: A soldier what's fit for a soldier. Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . . First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts, For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts -- Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts -- An' it's bad for the young British soldier. Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . . When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt -- Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout, For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out, An' it crumples the young British soldier. Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . . But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead: You must wear your 'elmet for all that is said: If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead, An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier. Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . . If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind, Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind; Be handy and civil, and then you will find That it's beer for the young British soldier. Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . . Now, if you must marry, take care she is old -- A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told, For beauty won't help if your rations is cold, Nor love ain't enough for a soldier. 'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . . If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! -- Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both, An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier. Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . . When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck, Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck, Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck And march to your front like a soldier. Front, front, front like a soldier . . . When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch, Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch; She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich, An' she'll fight for the young British soldier. Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . . When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine, The guns o' the enemy wheel into line, Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine, For noise never startles the soldier. Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . . If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white, Remember it's ruin to run from a fight: So take open order, lie down, and sit tight, And wait for supports like a soldier. Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . . When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier. Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, So-oldier of the Queen!

Dauntless Dan by Maurice McGill (for his father - Boer War 1899-1902)

The cry went up for volunteers To join the battle van And then we gave three lusty cheers And said here's Dauntless Dan! For years upon the football field He's been well to the fore But to no living man he'll yield In hatred of the Boer They tried his ardour for to damp By regulations stringent But now he's in the Newtown Camp Among the Fifth Contingent They took him to the rifle butts To try how he could aim Although they said both eyes he shut He got there all the same He passed well through the riding test Without a single spill And now he ranks among the best Does the Dauntless Dan McGill

Sergeant 4486 Untitled

The glamour gone, some scattered graves and memories dim remain: With his old pals across the field, he'll never trek again; But yet there's nothing he regrets as he awaits his Call, For what was done or lost or won, he did his bit - that's all.

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Aftermath by Siegfried. Sassoon.

HAVE you forgotten yet?... For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days, Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways: And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go, Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare. But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game... Have you forgotten yet?... Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget. Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz-- The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets? Do you remember the rats; and the stench Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-- And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain? Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?' Do you remember that hour of din before the attack-- And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men? Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay? Have you forgotten yet?... Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

Attack by Siegfried Sassoon .

At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun In the wild purple of the glow'ring sun, Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one, Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire. The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear, Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire. Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear, They leave their trenches, going over the top, While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists, And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists, Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!

Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.-- Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin, If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs Bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

In Flanders Fields Dr. John McCrae.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

Jerusalem by William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England's pleasant pastures seen? And did the Countenance Divine Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here Among these dark satanic mills? Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England's green and pleasant land.

No Man's Land by James H. Knight-Adkin

No Man's Land is an eerie sight At early dawn in the pale gray light. Never a house and never a hedge In No Man's Land from edge to edge, And never a living soul walks there To taste the fresh of the morning air; - Only some lumps of rotting clay, That were friends or foemen yesterday. What are the bounds of No Man's Land? You can see them clearly on either hand, A mound of rag-bags gray in the sun, Or a furrow of brown where the earthworks run From the eastern hills to the western sea, Through field or forest o'er river and lea; No man may pass them, but aim you well And Death rides across on the bullet or shell. But No Man's Land is a goblin sight When patrols crawl over at dead o' night; Boche or British, Belgian or French, You dice with death when you cross the trench. When the "rapid," like fireflies in the dark, Flits down the parapet spark by spark, And you drop for cover to keep your head With your face on the breast of the four months' dead. The man who ranges in No Man's Land Is dogged by the shadows on either hand When the star-shell's flare, as it bursts o'er head, Scares the gray rats that feed on the dead, And the bursting bomb or the bayonet-snatch May answer the click of your safety-catch, For the lone patrol, with his life in his hand, Is hunting for blood in No Man's Land.

Beyond The Wire by John Cromer Braun

Beyond the wire An awkward shadow dims the sand, A twisted body, Fallen with outstretched hand. The last patrol Returned, churning the night's quiet dust, Leaving in the wire A stain of blood to rust. Six men went out In search of new enemy mines; Only five returned; The sixth had found new lines. As he crouched, dark in the pale light of the moon, A sentry saw him, Ready, alas, too soon. The silent night Leapt with the shock of rifle fire - Now his body lies Alone, beyond the wire.

Chindit by KN Batley

Have you ever seen a column march away, And left you lying, too damned sick to care? Have you ever watched the night crawl into day With red-rimmed eyes that are too tired to stare? Have you ever bled beside a jungle trace In thick brown mud like coagulating stew? Have you ever counted leeches loping back Along the trail of sweat that leads to you? Have you ever heard your pals shout "cheerio", Knowing that this is no "Auf wiedershen"? Have you ever prayed, alone, for help although The stench of mules has vanished in the rain? Have you ever thought, "what a bloody way to die!", Left in the tree-roots, rotting, there to stay? God, I remember last poignant "Goodbye"; I was one of the men that marched away.

Doodlebugs by Grace Griffiths 1944

A bomb, last night, fell close by Radlett. The pulsing engine stopped right overheard. Four minutes to the crash. Slowly we counted; One girl cried, "Oh God! dear God!" The tension grew to bursting point; the blast Shattered the windows. We breathed again. Always the bombs come over in early evening Just before we go on shift. We talk of rush-hour traffic But underneath the fear remains. death can come From so many angles. Tomorrow, next week, next month It may not pass us by.

German Prisoners of War by WG Holloway

In a courtyard of the shelled farm they stand The dusty mirrors of defeated eyes Obscurring those proud days of fierce "Sieg Heils!" They droop, dispirited, parched of all hope, Their faces black with battered Europe's dust, Dark with prophecy of hearts' forebodings. Against the crumbling walls their arms are stacked, Neat mounds, packages of surrendered death. Our guns, now mute, mime articulation, Persuasive signposts to captivity. "Ou est le Boche?" is chalked upon our truck, Releasing Belgian shouts and plausive hands. We sway our victor's way through the faint light: They say we'll be in Antwerp for tonight.

Thanks to Robert for telling me who the author is of this next one. Just A Common Soldier" published in 1987 by Larry Vaincourt.

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past. Of a war that he fought in and the deeds that he had done, In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, everyone. And tho’ sometimes to his neighbours, his tales became a joke, All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke. But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bill has passed away And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today. He well not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife, For he lived an ordinary quiet and uneventful life, Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way; And the world won’t note his passing, 'tho a soldier died today. When politicians leave this earth, there bodies lie in state, While thousands note there passing and proclaim that they are great, Papers tell there life stories from the time that they are young, But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung. In the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man? Or the ordinary fellow who in times of war and strife Goes off to serve his country and offers up his life? A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives Are sometimes disproportionate to service that he gives, While the ordinary soldier, who offers up his all, Is paid off with a medal, and perhaps a pension small. It's so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago That the Old Bill's of our country went to battle, but we knew It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys, Who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys. Should you find yourself in danger with your enemies at hand, Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand? Or would you prefer a soldier who has sworn to defend His home, his kin and country and would fight until the end? He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin But his presence should remind us we may need his like again, For when countries are in conflict then we find the soldier's part Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start. If we cannot do him honour while he's here to hear the praise Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days, Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say; OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.