The Sweet Little Man Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Now while our soldiers are fighting our battlesB
Each at his post to do all that he canC
Down among rebels and contraband chattelsB
What are you doing my sweet little manC
All the brave boys under canvas are sleepingD
All of them pressing to march with the vanC
Far from the home where their sweethearts are weepingD
What are you waiting for sweet little manC
You with the terrible warlike mustachesB
Fit for a colonel or chief of a clanC
You with the waist made for sword belts and sashesB
Where are your shoulder straps sweet little manC
Bring him the buttonless garment of womanE
Cover his face lest it freckle and tanC
Muster the Apron String Guards on the CommonE
That is the corps for the sweet little manC
Give him for escort a file of young missesB
Each of them armed with a deadly rattanC
They shall defend him from laughter and hissesB
Aimed by low boys at the sweet little manC
All the fair maidens about him shall clusterF
Pluck the white feathers from bonnet and fanC
Make him a plume like a turkey wing dusterF
That is the crest for the sweet little manC
Oh but the Apron String Guards are the fellowsB
Drilling each day since our troubles beganC
'Handle your walking sticks ' 'Shoulder umbrellas '-
That is the style for the sweet little manC
Have we a nation to save In the first placeB
Saving ourselves is the sensible planC
Surely the spot where there's shooting's the worst placeB
Where I can stand says the sweet little manC
Catch me confiding my person with strangersB
Think how the cowardly Bull Runners ranC
In the brigade of the Stay at Home RangersB
Marches my corps says the sweet little manC
Such was the stuff of the Malakoff takersB
Such were the soldiers that scaled the RedanC
Truculent housemaids and bloodthirsty QuakersB
Brave not the wrath of the sweet little manC
Yield him the sidewalk ye nursery maidensB
Sauve qui peut Bridget and right about AnnC
Fierce as a shark in a school of menhadensB
See him advancing the sweet little manC
When the red flails of the battle field's threshersB
Beat out the continent's wheat from its branC
While the wind scatters the chaffy seceshersB
What will become of our sweet little manC
When the brown soldiers come back from the bordersB
How will he look while his features they scanC
How will he feel when he gets marching ordersB
Signed by his lady love sweet little manC
Fear not for him though the rebels expect himG
Life is too precious to shorten its spanC
Woman her broomstick shall raise to protect himG
Will she not fight for the sweet little manC
Now then nine cheers for the Stay at Home RangerF
Blow the great fish horn and beat the big panC
First in the field that is farthest from dangerF
Take your white feather plume sweet little manC

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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