Poems

1812

Regiment upon regiment in their orderly rows,
Battalion after battalion answering the bugle calls,
Marching quickly and smartly, columns for miles and miles,
Regiments, battalions forming battle lines.

With the quickening of the drum beats the pace of march increased,
Marching into battle, the enemy soon to meet.
Battle flags a-flying, fluttering in the sky,
Each carried by its bearer, proudly held up high.

The sabres of the officers, the bayonets of the men,
All brightly flashing in the morning sun.
The battle not yet started, the killing not begun,
Soldiers stepping proudly to the sound of the drums.

The blacks and the greens of the infantery
Blending with the fields,
Followed by the line regiments, an army of colour and might.
Each uniform is different from the regiment behind,
All marching very proudly to the battle site.

Come the hours of shot and shell,
Those moments filled with fire, smoke and hell.
The gaps in ranks where comrades fell,
The sight of blood and instant death.
A fallen friend now laid to rest.
Still forward on, cry the bugle calls,
The battle must be won before the darkness falls.

The smoke and dust now cleared,
The battlefield of death revealed.
Now is the time to count the cost,
The good men we have lost.

To bury the dead and stop the bleeding
For today, Death will be happily reading
The names of the dead and the slowly dying.
But come the morrow, smartly marching,
Look again for an enemy to be fighting
With bugles blowing and battle flags flying.