‘Hello, Soldier!’


(A Hymn of Hate)

Edward Dyson

        WHAT is meant by active service
            ’Ere where sin is leakin’ loose,
        ’N’ the oldest ’and’s as nervis
            As a dog-bedevilled goose,
        Has bin writ be every poet
            What can rhyme it worth a dam,
        But the ’orror as we know it
            Is jist jam, jam, jam!
        Oh, the ’ymn of ’ate we owe it—
Stodgy, splodgy, seepy, soaky, sanguinary jam!

        There’s the “fearful roar iv battle,”
            What gets underneath yer ’at,
        Mooin’ like a million cattle
            Each as big as Ararat;
        There’s the red field green ’n’ slippy
            (And I’m cleaner where I am),
        But the thing that’s got me nippy
            It is jam, jam, jam!
        Druv us sour it has, ’n’ dippy,
Sticky, sicky, slimy, sloppy, stummick-strafin’ jam!

        Of the mud that’s in the trenches
            Writers make a solemn fuss;
        For the vermin ’n’ the stenches
            Little ladies pity us;
        But the yearn that’s honest dinkum,
            ’N’ the prayer what ain’t a sham
        Is that Fritz may bust ’n’ sink ’em
            Ships of jam, jam, jam!
        For we bolt ’em, chew ’em, drink ’em,
Million billion bar’ls of beastly, cloyin’ clammy jam!

        We are sorry-sick of peaches,
            ’N’ we’re full right up of plum,
        ’N’ innards fairly screeches
            When the tins of apple come.
        Back of Blighty piled in cases,
            Jist as close as they can cram,
        Fillin’ all the open spaces,
            Is the jam, jam, jam!
        Oh, the woe the soldiers face is,
Monday, Sunday, ruddy, muddy, boundless bogs of jam.

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