Colour of Empire

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Posts: 1453
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Colour of Empire

#1 Post by FranktheFrank » 03 Jun 2019, 14:34

But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Rudyard Kipling, Gunga Din

Lined up to the bugle call, Haboob,
hot and dry tears at my cap, smothers
the column in its bricky red dust.

We march ag'in the heathen, our bayonets
glint in the sun, rows of scarlet tunics sway
to the thump of a drum, sway to the thump

of a drum me lads, and squeal of the chanter,
the tinny squeak of the pipes me lads
and us willing to shed our blood.

Willing to die for country lads,
die for our glorious Queen. Willing
to thrust the bayonet into a black

man's hide, you see his face a-grimaced
as it turns ugly when death settles,
and to pull it out with his pulsing blood

and to smell him close up and him so fine
a specimen of manhood it hurts
so to see a warrior die.

No booze to quell the rage an' stress just tea
and bully beef, and the sergeant's rough
an' rugged tongue and endless blood red slaughter.

On they come those Fuzzy-Wuzzys
howling their 'Alah akbars' Fire one round
close and strike front, foot in chest heave,
swing to the left and club the next bugger,
repeat as long as they keep on coming . . .

The flies head for Prichard, his intestines
flowing out his tunic and swelling
in the sun. He screaming for his mam.
Tempted I am to finish him off,
for I never did take to him proper.

The column stands-to all day, no break
we are dying of thirst. Wazeer runs
to my side in a hollow,
"Water sir?"
'About time you ugly bastard,' says I.
A bullet takes him in the jugular,
his blood spurts into my boot.
He smiles as I cradle him,
"Thanks you Mister ap Hywel,
sorry I tips your drink,"
and just before I cries.

Posts: 915
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Colour of Empire

#2 Post by Kenneth2816 » 03 Jun 2019, 19:40

Adore Kipling. Even with the quote, this is too "borrowed" from the original, down to the brick red dust,
the denigration of the water bearer, the superior attitude of the white English.

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