She was a pretty, nicely mannered mare,
The children’s pet, the master’s pride and care,
Until a man in khaki came one day,
Looked at her teeth, and hurried her away.
With other horses packed into a train
She hungered for her master’s voice in vain;
And later, led 'twixt planks that scare and slip,
They slung her, terrified, on board a ship.
Next came, where thumps and throbbing filled the air,
Her first experience of mal de mare;
And when that oscillating trip was done
They hitched her up in traces to a gun.
She worked and pulled and sweated with the best;
A stranger now her glossy coat caressed
Till flashing thunderstorms came bursting round
And spitting leaden hail bestrewed the ground.
With quivering limbs, and silky ears laid back,
She feels a shock succeed a sharper crack,
And, whinnying her pitiful surprise,
Staggers and falls, and tries in vain to rise.
Alone, forsaken, on a foreign field
What moral does this little record yield?
Who tends the wounded horses in the war?
Well that is what the Blue Cross League is for.