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Ah there, Piet! whose time 'as come to die,

'Is carcase past rebellion, but 'is eyes inquirin' why.

Though dressed in stolen uniform with badge o' rank complete,

I've known a lot o' fellers go a dam' sight worse than Piet.

An' when there wasn't aught to do
But camp and cattle-guards,

I've fought with 'im the 'ole day through
At fifteen 'undred yards;

Long afternoons o' lyin' still,

An' 'earin' as you lay

The bullets swish from 'ill to 'ill

Like scythes among the 'ay.

Ah there, Piet!-be'ind 'is stony kop,

With 'is Boer bread an' biltong, an' 'is flask of

awful Dop;

'Is Mauser for amusement an' 'is pony for retreat, I've known a lot o' fellers shoot a dam' sight worse than Piet.

He's shoved 'is rifle 'neath my nose
Before I'd time to think,

An' borrowed all my Sunday clo'es

An' sent me 'ome in pink;

An' I 'ave crept (Lord, 'ow I've crept!)

On 'ands an' knees I've gone,

And spoored and floored and caught and kept
An' sent him to Ceylon!


Ah there, Piet!-you've sold me many a pup, When week on week alternate it was you an' me "'ands up!'

But though I never made you walk man-naked in the 'eat,

I've known a lot of fellows stalk a dam' sight worse than Piet.

From Plewman's to Marabastad,
From Ookiep to De Aar,

Me an' my trusty friend 'ave 'ad,
As you might say, a war;
But seein' what both parties done
Before 'e owned defeat,

I ain't more proud of 'avin' won,
Than I am pleased with Piet.

Ah there, Piet!-picked up be'ind the drive!

The wonder wasn't 'ow 'e fought, but 'ow 'e kep'


With nothin' in 'is belly, on 'is back, or to 'is feetI've known a lot o' men behave a dam' sight worse than Piet.

No more I'll 'ear 'is rifle crack
Along the block'ouse fence-
The beggar's on the peaceful tack,
Regardless of expense.

For countin' what 'e eats an' draws,
An' gifts an' loans as well,

'E's gettin' 'alf the Earth, because
'E didn't give us 'Ell!

Ah there, Piet! with your brand-new English plough,

Your gratis tents an' cattle, an' your most ungrateful frow.

You've made the British taxpayer rebuild your


I've known some pet battalions charge a dam' sight less than Piet.



HERE is a world outside the one you know,
To which for curiousness 'Ell can't compare-
It is the place where 'wilful-missings' go,

As we can testify, for we are there.

You may 'ave read a bullet laid us low,
That we was gathered in 'with reverent care'
And buried proper. But it was not so,
As we can testify, for we are there.

They can't be certain-faces alter so
After the old aasvogel's 'ad 'is share;
The uniform's the mark by which they go-

ain't it odd?-the one we best can spare.

We might 'ave seen our chance to cut the showName, number, record, an' begin elsewhereLeavin' some not too late-lamented foe

One funeral-private-British-for 'is share.

We may 'ave took it yonder in the Low
Bush-veldt that sends men stragglin' unaware

Among the Kaffirs, till their columns go,
An' they are left past call or count or care.

We might 'ave been your lovers long ago,
'Usbands or children-comfort or despair.
Our death (an' burial) settles all we owe,
An' why we done it is our own affair.

Marry again, and we will not say no,

Nor come to bastardise the kids you bear; Wait on in 'ope-you've all your life below Before you'll ever 'ear us on the stair.

There is no need to give our reasons, though
Gawd knows we all 'ad reasons which were fair;

But other people might not judge 'em so,

And now it doesn't matter what they were.

What man can size or weigh another's woe? There are some things too bitter 'ard to bear. Suffice it we 'ave finished-Domino!

As we can testify, for we are there,

In the side-world where 'wilful-missings' go.

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