'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

24 February 2013

Sunday Kipling

Happy Sunday to you all. Lu and I are tired and still fighting the crud so I think we'll take the day off. Something beefy on the grill sounds good.

I hope you all have a fine day. Our thoughts are with you and our prayers continue to those in need.


Arithmetic on the Frontier

A great and glorious thing it is
  To learn, for seven years or so,
The Lord knows what of that and this,
  Ere reckoned fit to face the foe --
The flying bullet down the Pass,
That whistles clear: "All flesh is grass."

Three hundred pounds per annum spent
  On making brain and body meeter
For all the murderous intent
  Comprised in "villanous saltpetre!"
And after -- ask the Yusufzaies
What comes of all our 'ologies.

A scrimmage in a Border Station --
  A canter down some dark defile --
Two thousand pounds of education
  Drops to a ten-rupee jezail --
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

No proposition Euclid wrote,
  No formulae the text-books know,
Will turn the bullet from your coat,
  Or ward the tulwar's downward blow
Strike hard who cares -- shoot straight who can --
The odds are on the cheaper man.

One sword-knot stolen from the camp
  Will pay for all the school expenses
Of any Kurrum Valley scamp
  Who knows no word of moods and tenses,
But, being blessed with perfect sight,
Picks off our messmates left and right.

With home-bred hordes the hillsides teem,
  The troopships bring us one by one,
At vast expense of time and steam,
  To slay Afridis where they run.
The "captives of our bow and spear"
Are cheap, alas! as we are dear.


Old NFO said...

Good one and it does go to the heart of the matter...

Six said...

It really does NFO. Thanks!