Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Danny Deever
By Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)
“WHAT are the bugles blowin’ for?” said Files-on-Parade.
  “To turn you out, to turn you out,” the Color-Sergeant said.
“What makes you look so white, so white?” said Files-on-Parade.
  “I’m dreadin’ what I’ve got to watch,” the Color-Sergeant said.
    For they’re hangin’ Danny Deever, you can ’ear the Dead March play,        5
    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 Color-Sergeant said.        10
What makes that front-rank man fall down?” says Files-on-Parade.
  “A touch of sun, a touch of sun,” the Color-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—        15
      Oh, 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 Color-Sergeant said.
“I’ve drunk ’is beer a score o’ times,” said Files-on-Parade.
  “’E’s drinkin’ bitter beer alone,” the Color-Sergeant said.        20
    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.        25
  “It’s Danny fightin’ ’ard for life,” the Color-Sergeant said.
“What’s that that whimpers over’ead?” said Files-on-Parade.
  “It’s Danny’s soul that’s passin’ now,” the Color-Sergeant said.
    For they’re done with Danny Deever, you can ’ear the quick-step play;
    The regiment’s in column, an’ they’re marchin’ us away;        30
    Ho! the young recruits are shakin’, an’ they’ll want their beer to-day,
      After hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.

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