Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
III. War
Danny Deever
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 hear 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 o’ sun, a touch o’ 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
      O 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 quickstep 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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