Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Boots
 
(Infantry Columns)

WE’RE foot—slog—slog—slog—sloggin’ over Africa!
Foot—foot—foot—foot—sloggin’ over Africa—
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!)
            There’s no discharge in the war!
 
Seven—six—eleven—five—nine-an’-twenty mile to-day—        5
Four—eleven—seventeen—thirty-two the day before—
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!)
            There’s no discharge in the war!
 
Don’t—don’t—don’t—don’t—look at what’s in front of you.
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)        10
Men—men—men—men—men go mad with watchin’ ’em,
            And there’s no discharge in the war!
 
Try—try—try—try—to think o’ something different—
Oh—my—God—keep—me from goin’ lunatic!
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)        15
            There’s no discharge in the war!
 
Count—count—count—count—the bullets in the bandoliers.
If—your—eyes—drop—they will get atop o’ you
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!)
            There’s no discharge in the war!        20
 
We—can—stick—out—’unger, thirst, an’ weariness,
But—not—not—not—not the chronic sight of ’em—
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!
            An’ there’s no discharge in the war!
 
’Tain’t—so—bad—by—day because o’ company,        25
But—night—brings—long—strings—o’ forty thousand million
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again.
            There’s no discharge in the war!
 
I—’ave—marched—six—weeks in ’Ell an’ certify
It—is—not—fire—devils—dark or anything,        30
But boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again,
            An’ there’s no discharge in the war!
 
 
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