A MILE-LONG panto dragon ploddin’ ’opeless all the day,
Stuffed out with kits, ’n’ spiked with rifles, steamin’ in its sweat,
A-heavin’ down the misty road, club-footed through the clay,
By waggons bogged ’n’ buckin’ guns, the wildest welter yet,
Like ’arf creation’s tenants shiftin’ early in the wet.
We’re marchin’ out, we dunno where, to meet we dunno who;
But here we lights eventual, ’n’ sighs ’n’ slips the kit,
’N’, ‘struth, the first to take us on is Mickie Mollynoo!
A copper of the Port he was, when ’istory was writ.
Sez I: “We’re sent to face the foe, ’n’, selp me, this is It.”
A shine John. Hop is Mollynoo. A mix-up with the push
Is all his joy. One evenin’ when his baton’s flyin’ free
I takes a baby brick, ’n’ drives it hard agin the cush,
’N’ Privit Mick is scattered out fer all the world to see,
But not afore indelible he’s put his mark on me.
I got the signs Masonic all inlaid along me lug
Where Molly, P.C., swiped me in them ’appy, careless days.
He’s sargin’ now, a vet’ran; I’m a newchum and a mug,
’N’ when he sorter fixes me there’s somethin’ in his gaze
That’s pensive like. “Move on!” sez he. “Keep movin’ there!” he says.
If after this I dreams of scraps promiscuous and crool,
The mills in Butcher’s Alley when the watch is on the wine,
Those nights he raided Wylie’s shed to break the two-up school,
I takes a screw at Molly. With a grin that ain’t divine
He’s toyin’ with a scar of old I reckernise as mine.
’N’ so I’m layin’ for it, ’n’ I’m wonderin’ how ’n’ what.
We’re signed on with the Germans, ’n’ there ain’t a vacant date;
But sure it’s comin’ to me, ’n’ it’s comin’ ’ard ’n’ ’ot.
Me lurk is patient waitin’, but I’m trimmin’ while I wait
A brick to jab or swing with, in a willin’ tatertate.
Oh, judge me wonder! There’s a scrim that follers on a raid.
I’m roughin’ it all-in with Hans. He sock me such a bat
I slides on somethin’ narsty, ’n’ me little grave is made;
But Molly butts my Hun, ’n’ leaves no face beneath his hat,
’N’, “’Scuse me, Mister Herr,” sez he, “I have a lien on that!”
He helps me under cover, ’n’ he ’ands me somethin’ wet
(I’ve got a lick or two that leaves me feelin’ pretty sick).
“Lor love yeh, ole John Hop,” sez I, “yiv buried me in debt.”
“Don’t minton ut at all,” he sez, ’n’ eyes me arf-a-tick.
’N’ back there in the trench I sits, ’n’ trims another brick.
’Tis all this how a month or more; then Mollynoo sez he:
“Come aisy, Jumm, yeh loafer, little hell ’n’ all to view.
A job most illegant is on, cut out fer you ’n’ me.
The damnedest, dirtiest fighter on the Continent is you,
Bar one, yeh gougin’ thafe, ’n’ that is Sargin’ Mollynoo!”
I take, with knife ’n’ pistol, arf a brick to line me shirt.
We creeps a thousan’ yards or so to jigger up a gun
Which seven Huns is workin’ on the Irish like a squirt.
We gets across them, me ’n’ him. I pots the extra one;
Mick chokes his third in comfort, ’n’, be’old, the thing is done!
He stands above me, rakin’ sweat from off his gleamin’ nut.
“Me dipper’s leakin’, Mick,” sez I; “me leg is bit in two.”
Sez he: “Bleed there in comfort, I’m for bringin’ help, ye scut.”
He’s back in twenty minutes, with a dillied German crew.
“Three’ll carry in the gun,” sez he, “the rest will carry you.”
I dunno how he got ’em, but he made them barrer me.
They lugged the gun before him, ’n’ he yarded them like geese.
Then Mickie s’lutes the Major. “They’re in custody,” sez he,
“Fer conduc’ calculated to provoke a breach iv peace,
A-tearin’ iv me uniform, ’n’ ’saultin’ the po-lice.”
Then down he dumped. His wounds would make a ’arf a column list.
When back to front I chucks me bricks ’n’ smiles the best I can.
He grins at me: “Yer right,” sez he, “Hold out yer bla’guard fist,
I couldn’t fight yeh, blarst yeh, if yeh dinted in me pan.
This messin’ round wid Germans makes a chicken iv a man.”