Sergeant-Major Money

S
It wasn't our battalion, but we lay alongside it,
So the story is as true as the telling is frank.
They hadn't one Line-officer left, after Arras,
Except a batty major and the Colonel, who drank.

'B' Company Commander was fresh from the Depot,
An expert on gas drill, otherwise a dud;
So Sergeant-Major Money carried on, as instructed,
And that's where the swaddies began to sweat blood.

His Old Army humour was so well-spiced and hearty
That one poor sod shot himself, and one lost his wits;
But discipline's maintained, and back in rest-billets
The Colonel congratulates 'B' Company on their kits.

The subalterns went easy, as was only natural
With a terror like Money driving the machine,
Till finally two Welshmen, butties from the Rhondda,
Bayoneted their bugbear in a field-canteen.

Well, we couldn't blame the officers, they relied on Money;
We couldn't blame the pitboys, their courage was grand;
Or, least of all, blame Money, an old stiff surviving
In a New (bloody) Army he couldn't understand.

69
Rating:

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

For the Union Dead by Robert Lowell
Robert Lowell
The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.

Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled
to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.
Read Poem
0
64
Rating:

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.

Rats!
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And eat the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Read Poem
0
77
Rating:

Canto XVI by Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
And before hell mouth; dry plain
and two mountains;
On the one mountain, a running form,
and another
In the turn of the hill; in hard steel
The road like a slow screw’s thread,
The angle almost imperceptible,
so that the circuit seemed hardly to rise;
Read Poem
0
67
Rating:

The Golden Schlemiel by Irving Feldman
Irving Feldman
So there’s a cabbie in Cairo named Deif.
So he found 5,000 bucks in the back seat.
So meanwhile his daughter was very sick.
So he needed the money for medicine bad.
So never mind.
So he looked for the fare and gave it back.
So then the kid died.
So they fired him for doing good deeds on company time.
Read Poem
0
65
Rating:

... by an Earthquake by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
A hears by chance a familiar name, and the name involves a riddle of the past.
B, in love with A, receives an unsigned letter in which the writer states that she is the mistress of A and begs B not to take him away from her.
B, compelled by circumstances to be a companion of A in an isolated place, alters her rosy views of love and marriage when she discovers, through A, the selfishness of men.
A, an intruder in a strange house, is discovered; he flees through the nearest door into a windowless closet and is trapped by a spring lock.
A is so content with what he has that any impulse toward enterprise is throttled.
A solves an important mystery when falling plaster reveals the place where some old love letters are concealed.
A-4, missing food from his larder, half believes it was taken by a “ghost.”
A, a crook, seeks unlawful gain by selling A-8 an object, X, which A-8 already owns.
Read Poem
0
80
Rating:

Coming to Jakarta: A Poem about Terror by Peter Dale Scott
Peter Dale Scott
II.iv

I am writing this poem
about the 1965 massacre
of Indonesians by Indonesians

which in an article ten years later
I could not publish
except in Nottingham England with

a friend Malcolm Caldwell who has since
Read Poem
0
66
Rating:

Easter in Pittsburgh by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
Even on Easter Sunday
when the church was a

jungle of lilies and
ferns fat Uncle Paul

who loved his liquor
so would pound away

with both fists on the
stone pulpit shouting
Read Poem
0
64
Rating:

Zero Hour by Ernesto Cardenal
Ernesto Cardenal
Tropical nights in Central America,
with moonlit lagoons and volcanoes
and lights from presidential palaces,
barracks and sad curfew warnings.
"Often while smoking a cigarette
I've decided that a man should die,"
says Ubico smoking a cigarette . . .
In his pink-wedding-cake palace
Read Poem
0
59
Rating:

The Star-splitter by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
"You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me
Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something
I should have done by daylight, and indeed,
After the ground is frozen, I should have done
Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful
Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney
Read Poem
0
67
Rating: