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'Hello, Soldier!' Khaki Verse   By: (1865-1931)

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"Hello, Soldier!" Khaki Verse

by Edward Dyson

Many of these verse were originally printed in the "Bulletin," others in "Punch," "The Leader" and Melbourne "Herald." Some few are now published for the first time.

The paper famine leaving me no option but to print on peculiar paper, not wholly prohibitive or to defer the publication of my verses for an unknown period, the natural longing of a parent to parade his "well be gotten" prevails. If my book is unusual and bizarre from a craftman's point of view, I plead the unusual times and extraordinary conditions. Of these times and conditions. I hope "Hello Soldier" is in some measure characteriastic. Edward Dyson.

AUSTRALIA.

AUSTRALIA, my native land, A stirring whisper in your ear 'Tis time for you to understand Your rating now is A1, dear. You've done some rousing things of late. That lift you from the simple state In which you chose to vegetate.

The persons so superior, Whose patronage no more endures, Now have to fire a salvo for The glory that is fairly yours. At length you need no sort of crutch, You stand alone, you're voted "much" Get busy and behave as such.

No man from Oskosh, or from Hull, Or any other chosen place Can rise with a distended skull, And cast aspersions in your face. You're given all the world to know Your proper standing as a foe, And hats are off, and rightly so.

You furnished heroes for the fray, Your sterling merit's widely blown To all men's satisfaction say, Now have you proved it to your own? Now have you strength to stand and shine In your own light and say, "Divine The thing is that I do. It's mine!"

The cannon's stroke throws customs down The black and bottomless abyss, And quaking are the gilded crown And palsied feet of prejudice. The guns have killed, but it is true They bring to life things good and new. God grant they have awakened you!

My ears are greedy for the toast Of confidence before our guest, The loyal song, the manly boast Your splendid faith to manifest. In works of art and livelihood Shirk not the creed, "What's ours is good," Dread not to have it understood.

Australia, lift your royal brow, And have the courage of our pride, Audacity becomes you now, Be splendidly self satisfied, No land from lowliness and dearth Has won to eminence on earth That was not conscious of its worth.

CONTENTS

AUSTRALIA BILLY KHAKI AS THE TROOPS WENT THROUGH MARSHAL NEIGH V.C. IN HOSPITAL SISTER ANN BRICKS MUD MICKIE MOLLYNOO JAM WEEPING WILLIE BILLJIM THE CRUSADERS PEACE, BLESSED PEACE THE HAPPY GARDENERS THE GERM JOEY'S JOB THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME HOW HERMAN WON THE CROSS WHEN TOMMY CAME MARCHING HOME HELLO, SOLDIER! THE MORALIST REPAIRED OUT OF KHAKI THE SINGLE HANDED TEAM BATTLE PASSES THE LETTERS OF THE DEAD BULLETS UNREDEEMED THE LIVING PICTURE THE IMMORTAL STRAIN THE UNBORN THE COMMON MEN THE CHURCH BELLS THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT THE ONE AT HOME THE HAPLESS ARMY

BILLY KHAKI

MARCHING somewhat out of order when the band is cock a hoop, There's a lilting kind of magic in the swagger of the troop, Swinging all aboard the steamer with her nose toward the sea. What is calling, Billy Khaki, that you're foot ing it so free?

Though his lines are none too level, And he lacks a bit of style. And he's swanking like the devil Where the women wave and smile, He will answer with a rifle Trim and true from stock to bore, Where the comrades crouch and stifle In the reeking pit of war.

What is calling, Billy Khaki? There is thunder down the sky, And the merry magpie bugle splits the morn ing with its cry, While your feet are beating rhythms up the dusty hills and down, And the drums are all a talking in the hollow of the town.

Billy Khaki, is't the splendor of the song the kiddies sing, Or the whipping of the flags aloft that sets your heart a swing? Is't the cheering like a paean of the toss ing, teeming crowds, Or the boom of distant cannon flatly bumping on the clouds ?

What's calling, calling, Billy? 'Tis the rattle far away Of the cavalry at gallop and artillery in play; 'Tis the great gun's fierce concussion, and the smell of seven hells When the long ranks go to pieces in the sneezing of the shells... Continue reading book >>




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