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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
he 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 regi
mental dance, And the cruel tyrant sergeants send 'is name along
An' now 'e's '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
know 'is man.
An', last, a Colour-Sergeant, as such to be
obeyed, 'E leads 'is men at cricket, 'e leads 'em on parade; They sees 'em quick an' 'andy, uncommon set an'
smart, An’so 'e talks to orficers which ’ave the Core at
'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 that's buyin' leave to
shirk; An' 'e learns to make men like 'im so they'll learn
to like their work.
An' when it comes to marchin' he'll 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 what's in
their mind; ’E feels when they are comin' on an' when they've
'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 it's 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 isn't glad to go, They moves 'em off by companies uncommon
stiff an' slow.
Of all 'is five years' schoolin' they don't 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 'adn't learned 'em they'd be all about the
An' now it's “'Do goes backward ?” an' now it's
"'Do comes on?”. An' now it's “Get the doolies,” an' now the
captain's gone; An' now it's bloody murder, but all the while they.
'ear 'Is voice, the same as barrick drill, a-shepherdin'
'E's just as sick as they are, 'is 'eart is like to
split, But 'e works 'em, works 'em, works 'em till 'e
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 don't 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 noncom
missioned man !