Rudyard Kipling’s “Parade Song of the Camp Animals”

     ELEPHANTS OF THE GUN TEAMS

     We lent to Alexander the strength of Hercules,
     The wisdom of our foreheads, the cunning of our knees;
     We bowed our necks to service: they ne'er were loosed again,—
     Make way there—way for the ten-foot teams
           Of the Forty-Pounder train!

     GUN BULLOCKS

     Those heroes in their harnesses avoid a cannon-ball,
     And what they know of powder upsets them one and all;
     Then we come into action and tug the guns again—
     Make way there—way for the twenty yoke
           Of the Forty-Pounder train!

     CAVALRY HORSES

     By the brand on my shoulder, the finest of tunes
     Is played by the Lancers, Hussars, and Dragoons,
     And it's sweeter than "Stables" or "Water" to me—
     The Cavalry Canter of "Bonnie Dundee"!

     Then feed us and break us and handle and groom,
     And give us good riders and plenty of room,
     And launch us in column of squadron and see
     The way of the war-horse to "Bonnie Dundee"!

     SCREW-GUN MULES

     As me and my companions were scrambling up a hill,
     The path was lost in rolling stones, but we went forward still;
     For we can wriggle and climb, my lads, and turn up everywhere,
     Oh, it's our delight on a mountain height, with a leg or two to
        spare!

     Good luck to every sergeant, then, that lets us pick our road;
     Bad luck to all the driver-men that cannot pack a load:
     For we can wriggle and climb, my lads, and turn up everywhere,
     Oh, it's our delight on a mountain height, with a leg or two to
        spare!

     COMMISSARIAT CAMELS

     We haven't a camelty tune of our own
     To help us trollop along,
     But every neck is a hair trombone
     (Rtt-ta-ta-ta! is a hair trombone!)
     And this our marching-song:
     Can't!  Don't!  Shan't!  Won't!
     Pass it along the line!
     Somebody's pack has slid from his back,
     Wish it were only mine!
     Somebody's load has tipped off in the road—
     Cheer for a halt and a row!
     Urrr!  Yarrh!  Grr!  Arrh!
     Somebody's catching it now!

     ALL THE BEASTS TOGETHER

     Children of the Camp are we,
     Serving each in his degree;
     Children of the yoke and goad,
     Pack and harness, pad and load.
     See our line across the plain,
     Like a heel-rope bent again,
     Reaching, writhing, rolling far,
     Sweeping all away to war!
     While the men that walk beside,
     Dusty, silent, heavy-eyed,
     Cannot tell why we or they
     March and suffer day by day.
        Children of the Camp are we,
        Serving each in his degree;
        Children of the yoke and goad,
        Pack and harness, pad and load!


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