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Lieutenant Keen was "great," and yetHe would look over the parapet;And something smacked him in the head,And he lay down as dead as dead.

He sluttered down, all proud and grim,And we set to and buried him;All night he lay and took his restWith lumps of Flanders on his breast.

All day he lay in Flanders groundAnd rested, rested, good and sound;But when the dog-star glittered clearHe calls, "By Jove, it's dark down here!"

"Sergeant, ain't I for rounds?" sings he,"And where's the bally Company?"And he was answered, with respect,"Here, sir -- all present and correct!"

And -- sure as I'm a man -- at nightHe comes along the trench, as whiteAnd cheerful as the blessèd saints,To see if there was "no complaints."

They cannot quieten that boy's ghost,He'll have no truck with no "Last Post,"They mark him "Killed," but you may swearHe's with us, be it foul or fair.

He goes before us like young fire,A soldier of his soul's desire;Through the hell-reek that smothers us,He fathers us and mothers us.

When we have pushed the German swineAcross the pretty river Rhine,Maybe he'll bide where he was spentAnd lie down happy and content.

© Crosland Thomas William Hodgson