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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Instructor

(Non-commissioned Officers of the Line)

At times when under cover I 'ave said, To keep my spirits up an' raise a laugh, 'Earin 'im pass so busy over-'ead-- Old Nickel-Neck, 'oo isn't on the Staff -- "There's one above is greater than us all" Before 'im I 'ave seen my Colonel fall, An 'watched 'im write my Captain's epitaph, So that a long way off it could be read-- He 'as the knack o' makin' men feel small-- Old Whistle Tip, 'oo isn't on the Staff. There is no sense in fleein' (I 'ave fled), Better go on an' do the belly-crawl, An' 'ope' 'e'1l 'it some other man instead Of you 'e seems to 'unt so speshual-- Fitzy van Spitz, 'oo isn't on the Staff. An' thus in mem'ry's cinematograph, Now that the show is over, I recall The peevish voice an' 'oary mushroom 'ead Of 'im we owned was greater than us all, 'Oo give instruction to the quick an' the dead-- The Shudderin' Beggar--not upon the Staff!

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