THE BACKSHEESH SERGEANT - Alice Mary Buckton Poems


Poems » alice mary buckton » the backsheesh sergeant


’E’s a sneakin’ smoogin’ blighter, an’ ’e’ll never make a fighter,
        Unless it’s ’gainst a wounded chap like me;
’E’s a cringin’, crawlin’ ’ound, an’ a coward, I’ll be bound,
An’ I don’t know why ’e crossed the bloomin’ sea.

Give ’im some woollen socks, wrap some waddin’ round ’is ’ocks,
        An’ send ’im to the bloomin’ firin’ line;
That will stop ’is bally brag, an’ ’is tongue will cease ter wag,
        ’Cause me cobbers don’t sight rifles extra fine.

’Is stripes are all Backsheesh, an’ ’is feet are in a freeze,
        ’Cause ’is regiment soon is leavin’ for the front;
’Is knees they knock tergether, like a ship in squally weather,
        ’Cause ’e isn’t game to bear the battle’s brunt.

’E thinks ’e is a bloomin’ knut, with all ’is clobber tailor-cut,
        An’ boots polished with a lovely “Kiwi” shine;
Still ’e ’asn’t got a gun, an’ ’e’s only out for fun,
        ’Cause ’e never meant to reach the “firin’ line.”

’E thinks that ’e’s a bloomin’ ’ead, yet ’e isn’t goin’ to face the lead,
        Unabashed, ’e says that ’ere ’e’s goin’ ter stay;
’E’s bluffed by Mr. Turk, so in Egypt ’ere ’e’ll lurk,
        Swagger, bounce, and draw ’is bloomin’ pay.

’E’s never done no fightin’ still ’e does ’is share o’ skitin,
        An’ writes ’ome an’ says ’e can’t be spared to go;
As a soldier ’e’s a failure, a disgrace to old Australia,
        He’s white-livered, and ’is ’eart’s as cold as snow.

’E’s a sergeant with cold feet, an’ “Base Details” is ’is beat,
        What ’e wants to do ’e thinks that ’e can do;
Though ’is cobbers are outmanned, ’e ’angs about the sand—
        Mister Backsheesh Sergeant, ’ere’s my best respects to you.