ME BROTHER WOT STAYED AT 'OME - Alice Mary Buckton Poems


Poems » alice mary buckton » me brother wot stayed at ome


I’m pullin’ orf me colours
        And slingin’ me Webb away.
I’m goin’ back to Cairo,
        To draw me bloomin’ pay.
I’m fed up with bein’ a soldier,
        So ’elp me bob, I am—
Of chewin’ mouldy biscuits
        And eatin’ bread an’ jam.
I’m sick of fightin’ Turkeys
        Out on me bloomin’ own,
When I thinks of ’im in ’Stralia—
        Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

I’ll bet he’s walkin’ up the street,
        ’Is chest puffed out with pride,
A-skitin’ to ’is cobbers
        Of ’ow ’e saves ’is ’ide.
And ’eres me in this bloomin’ trench,
        Where I’ve got to ’ide me ’ead
For fear a bally sniper
        Will plug it up with lead.
But ’e ’olds ’is ’ead up ’igh enough
        When up the street ’e’ll roam;
There ain’t no bullets over there
        For Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

’E reads in the mornin’ papers,
        That the Turks are on the run;
Then ’e brags about Australia,
        And wot ’er boys ’ave done.
’E shines before the barmaids,
        ’E’s good at beery skitin’,
But round the corner of the street
        Is where ’e does ’is fightin’.
’Is dug-out’s in the tap-room,
        The bar’s ’is firin’ zone,
And the billiard-cue’s ’is rifle,
        Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

’E’s not a bad shot either
        When ’e gets on a rabbit’s track,
And there ain’t no bloomin’ danger,
        ’Cause a rabbit can’t shoot back.
But it’s different ’ere at Anzac;
        Mr. Turk! ’e ain’t ’arf slick;
If ’e gets ’is peepers on yer,
        My oath, he’ll make yer sick.
But the slacker’s riskin’ nothin’,
        Why, ’is ’eart ’is a frigid zone,
An’ ’is feet are bloomin’ icebergs—
        Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

So I’m pullin’ orf me colours
        An’ slingin’ me Webb away;
I’m layin’ down me rifle—
        I don’t care wot they say.
If ’e can shirk ’is duty,
        And won’t come out and drill,
Well, two can play the same game;
        Then in comes Kaiser Bill.
I’m not afraid of bullets,
        I’d ’ave died without a groan,
But ’e’s put the kybosh on it,
        Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

Now, when I said to Mother,
        “I’ve volunteered to fight,”
She said, “God bless you, sonny,
        And bring you back all right.”
But ’e called me a chocolate soldier,
        A six bob a day tourist, too.
’E says, “You’ll not reach the trenches;
        Nor even get a view.
You’ll ’ave a bloomin’ picnic
        Across the ocean foam.”
Still ’e wasn’t game to try it,
        Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

’E’s playin’ golf and football,
        An’ many another game,
An’ ’ere’s me scrappin’ for the flag
        To keep Australia’s name,
While ’e waltzes round the ballrooms.
’E thinks ’e’s used ’is wit,
An’ he tries to pinch me tabby—
        Gee whizz! it’s time to quit.
But when the war is over
        ’E’ll reap jest what ’e’s sown,
And we’ll know ’im for a coward,
        Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

I’d like to ’ave ’im over ’ere,
        Just to show ’im ’ow things are;
For it ain’t all beer and skittles,
        And there ain’t no bloomin’ bar.
We’re stuck in these bally trenches,
        For eight days out of ten,
And never a spell comes to us
        ’Cause we ’aven’t got the men.
An’ Mr. Turk is wily,
        ’E aint’ no lazy drone,
An’ ’e’s twenty times as plucky
        As Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.

Well, I’ve picked up me old Lee-Enfield,
        And buckled me Webb about;
I’m only a bloomin’ private,
        An’ I’ve got to see it out;
And though ’e shames ’is man’ood,
        An’ stains ’is pedigree,
Thank God, we are still in the trenches,
        An’ we’ll fight until we’re free.
But if I do get shrapnelled,
        Though I die without a groan,
Well, the one who’s really killed me
        Is Me Brother Wot Stayed at ’Ome.