‘Hello, Soldier!’

Peace, Blessed Peace

Edward Dyson

HERE in the flamin’ thick of thick of things,
    With Death across the way, ’n’ traps
What little Fritz the German flings
    Explodin’ in yer lunch pe’aps,
It ain’t all glory for a bloke,
    It ain’t all corfee ’ot and stoo,
Nor wavin’ banners in the smoke,
Or practisin’ the bay’net stroke—
    We has our little troubles, too!

Here’s Trigger Ribb bin seein’ red
    ’N’ raisin’ Cain because he had,
Back in the caverns iv his ’ead,
    A ’oller tooth run ravin’ mad.
Pore Trigger up ’n’ down the trench
    Was jiggin’ like a blithered loan,
’N’ every time she give a wrench
You orter seen the beggar blench,
    You orter ’eard him play a toon.

The sullen shells was pawin’ blind,
    A-feelin’ for us grim as sin,
While now ’n’ then we’d likely find
    A dizzy bomb come limpin’ in.
But Trigger simply let ’er sizz.
    He ’ardly begged to be excused.
This was no damn concern of his.
He twined a muffler round his phiz,
    ’N’ fearful was the words he used.

Lest we be getting’ cock-a-whoop
    Ole ’Ans tries out his box of tricks.
His bullets all around the coop
    Is peckin’ like a million chicks.
But Trigger when they barks his snout
    Don’t sniff at it. He won’t confess
They’re on the earth—ignores the clout,
’N’ makes the same old sung about
    His brimmin’ mug of bitterness.

They raided us there in the mud
    One day afore the dead sun rose.
Me oath, the mess of stuff and blood
    Would give a slaughterman the joes!
And when the scrap is past and done,
    Where’s Trigger Ribb? The noble youth
Has got his bay’net in a Hun,
While down his cheeks the salt tears run.
    Sez he to me “Gorbli’—this tooth!”

A shell hoist Trigger in a tree.
    We found him motherin’ his jor.
“If this ache’s goin’ on,” sez he,
    “So ’elp me, it’ll spoil the war!”
We collared Trigger on his perch,
    They wired his molar to a bough,
Then give the anguished one a lurch,
’N’ down he pitches. From that birch
    His riddled tooth is hangin’ now.

This afternoon it’s merry ’ell;
    Grenades is comin’ by the peck;
A big gun times us true ’n’ well,
    And, oh! we gets it in the neck.
They lick out flames that reach a mile,
    The drip of lead will never cease.
But Trigger’s pottin’ all the while;
He sports a fond ’n’ foolish smile—
    “Thank Gord,” he sez, “a bit of peace!”

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