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Danny Deever

‘What are the bugles blowin’ for?' said Files-on-Parade.
‘To turn you out, to turn you out,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
‘What makes you look so white, so white?’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘I’m dreadin’ what I’ve got to watch,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
     For they’re hangin’ Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
     The Regiment’s in ’ollow square—they’re hangin’ him to—day;
     They’ve taken of his buttons off an’ cut his stripes away,
     An’ they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.
 
‘What makes the rear-rank breathe so ’ard?’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘It’s bitter cold, it’s bitter cold,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
‘What makes that front-rank man fall down?’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘A touch o’ sun, a touch o’ sun,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
     They are hangin’ Danny Deever, they are marchin’ of ’im round,
     They ’ave ’alted Danny Deever by ’is coffin on the ground;
     An’ ’e’ll swing in ’arf a minute for a sneakin’ shootin’ hound—
     O they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin!’
 
‘’Is cot was right—’and cot to mine,’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘’E’s sleepin’ out an’ far to-night,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
‘I’ve drunk ’is beer a score o’ times,’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘’E’s drinkin’ bitter beer alone,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
     They are hangin’ Danny Deever, you must mark ’im to ’is place,
     For ’e shot a comrade sleepin’—you must look ’im in the face;
     Nine ’undred of ’is county an’ the Regiment’s disgrace,
     While they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.
 
‘What’s that so black agin the sun?’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘It’s Danny fightin’ ’ard for life,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
‘What’s that that whimpers over’ead?’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘It’s Danny’s soul that’s passin’ now,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
     For they’re done with Danny Deever, you can ’ear the quickstep play,
     The Regiment’s in column, an’ they’re marchin’ us away;
     Ho! the young recruits are shakin’, an’ they’ll want their beer to-day,
     After hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’!
Other works by Rudyard Kipling ...



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