Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
The Married Man
(Reservist of the Line)

THE BACHELOR ’e fights for one
  As joyful as can be;
But the married man don’t call it fun,
  Because ’e fights for three—
For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It        5
  (An’ Two an’ One make Three)
’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
  An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea!
The bachelor pokes up ’is ’ead
  To see if you are gone;        10
But the married man lies down instead,
  An’ waits till the sights come on,
For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ a hit
  (Direct or ricochee)
’E wants to finish ’is little bit,        15
  An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea.
The bachelor will miss you clear
  To fight another day;
But the married man, ’e says “No fear!”
  ’E wants you out of the way        20
Of ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
  (An’ ’is road to ’is farm or the sea),
’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
  An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea.
The bachelor ’e fights ’is fight        25
  An’ stretches out an’ snores;
But the married man sits up all night—
  For ’e don’t like out-o’-doors.
’E’ll strain an’ listen an’ peer
  An’ give the first alarm—        30
For the sake o’ the breathin’ ’e’s used to ’ear
  An’ the ’ead on the thick of ’is arm.
The bachelor may risk ’is ’ide
  To ’elp you when you’re downed;
But the married man will wait beside        35
  Till the ambulance comes round.
’E’ll take your ’ome address
  An’ all you’ve time to say,
Or if ’e sees there’s ’ope, ’e’ll press
  Your art’ry ’alf the day—        40
For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
  (An’ One from Three leaves Two),
For ’e knows you wanted to finish your bit,
  An’ ’e knows ’oo’s wantin’ you.
Yes, ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It        45
  (Our ’oly One in Three),
We’re all of us anxious to finish our bit,
  An’ we want to get ’ome to our tea!
Yes, It an’ ’Er an’ ’Im,
  Which often makes me think        50
The married man must sink or swim
  An’—’e can’t afford to sink!
Oh ’Im an’ It an’ ’Er
  Since Adam an’ Eve began!
So I’d rather fight with the bacheler        55
  An’ be nursed by the married man!

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