Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Troopin’
 
(Old English Army in the East)

TROOPIN’, troopin’, troopin’ to the sea:
’Ere’s September come again—the six-year men are free.
O leave the dead be’ind us, for they cannot come away
To where the ship’s a-coalin’ up that takes us ’ome to-day.
        We’re goin’ ’ome, we’re goin’ ’ome,        5
          Our ship is at the shore,
        An’ you must pack your ’aversack,
          For we won’t come back no more.
        Ho, don’t you grieve for me,
        My lovely Mary-Ann,        10
        For I’ll marry you yit on a fourp’ny bit
          As a time-expired man.
 
The Malabar’s in ’arbour with the Jumner at ’er tail,
An’ the time-expired’s waitin’ of ’is orders for to sail.
Ho! the weary waitin’ when on Khyber ’ills we lay,        15
But the time-expired’s waitin’ of ’is orders ’ome to-day.
 
They’ll turn us out at Portsmouth wharf in cold an’ wet an’ rain,
All wearin’ Injian cotton kit, but we will not complain.
They’ll kill us of pneumonia—for that’s their little way—
But damn the chills and fever, men, we’re goin’ ’ome to-day!        20
 
Troopin’, troopin’, winter’s round again!
See the new draf’s pourin’ in for the old campaign;
Ho, you poor recruities, but you’ve got to earn your pay—
What’s the last from Lunnon, lads? We’re goin’ there to-day.
 
Troopin’, troopin’, give another cheer—        25
’Ere’s to English women an’ a quart of English beer.
The Colonel an’ the Regiment an’ all who ’ve got to stay,
Gawd’s Mercy strike ’em gentle—Whoop! we’re goin’ ’ome to-day.
        We’re goin’ ’ome, we’re goin’ ’ome,
          Our ship is at the shore,        30
        An’ you must pack your ’aversack,
          For we won’t come back no more.
        Ho, don’t you grieve for me,
          My lovely Mary-Ann,
        For I’ll marry you yit on a fourp’ny bit        35
          As a time-expired man.
 
 
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