By Corp’l Tullidge: seeThe Trumpet-Major

In Memory of S. C. (Pensioner).  Died 184–

   We trenched, we trumpeted and drummed,

And from our mortars tons of iron hummed

   Ath’art the ditch, the month we bombed

      The Town o’ Valencieën.

   ’Twas in the June o’ Ninety-dree

(The Duke o’ Yark our then Commander been)

   The German Legion, Guards, and we

      Laid siege to Valencieën.

   This was the first time in the war

That French and English spilled each other’s gore;

   —Few dreamt how far would roll the roar

      Begun at Valencieën!

   ’Twas said that we’d no business there

A-topperèn the French for disagreën;

   However, that’s not my affair—

      We were at Valencieën.

   Such snocks and slats, since war began

Never knew raw recruit or veteran:

   Stone-deaf therence went many a man

      Who served at Valencieën.

   Into the streets, ath’art the sky,

A hundred thousand balls and bombs were fleën;

   And harmless townsfolk fell to die

      Each hour at Valencieën!

   And, sweatèn wi’ the bombardiers,

A shell was slent to shards anighst my ears:

   —’Twas nigh the end of hopes and fears

      For me at Valencieën!

   They bore my wownded frame to camp,

And shut my gapèn skull, and washed en cleän,

   And jined en wi’ a zilver clamp

      Thik night at Valencieën.

   “We’ve fetched en back to quick from dead;

But never more on earth while rose is red

   Will drum rouse Corpel!” Doctor said

      O’ me at Valencieën.

   ’Twer true.  No voice o’ friend or foe

Can reach me now, or any livèn beën;

   And little have I power to know

      Since then at Valencieën!

   I never hear the zummer hums

O’ bees; and don’ know when the cuckoo comes;

   But night and day I hear the bombs

      We threw at Valencieën . . .

   As for the Duke o’ Yark in war,

There be some volk whose judgment o’ en is mean;

   But this I say—a was not far

      From great at Valencieën.

   O’ wild wet nights, when all seems sad,

My wownds come back, as though new wownds I’d had;

   But yet—at times I’m sort o’ glad

      I fout at Valencieën.

   Well: Heaven wi’ its jasper halls

Is now the on’y Town I care to be in . . .

   Good Lord, if Nick should bomb the walls

      As we did Valencieën!


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