Enemy Conscript Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


What are we fighting forA
We fellows who go to warA
fighting for Freedom's sakeB
You give me the belly acheB
Freedom to starve or slaveC
Freedom aye in the graveC
Fighting for hearth and homeD
Who haven't an inch of loamD
Hearth Why even a byreA
Can only be ours for hireA
Dying for future peaceE
Killing that killing ceaseE
To hell with such tripe I sayF
Sufficient unto the dayF
It isn't much fun being deadG
Better to le in bedG
Cuddle up to the wifeH
Making not taking lifeH
To the corpse that stinks in the clayF
Does it matter who wins the dayF
What odds if tyrants reignI
They can't put irons on the brainI
One always can eat one's grubJ
Smoke and drink in a pubJ
There's happiness in a glassK
A pipe and the kiss of a lassK
It's the best we get anyhowL
In the life we are living nowL
Who's wanting a hero's fateM
To the dead cheers come too lateM
Flesh is softer than steelN
Wounds are weary to healN
In the maniac hell of the frayF
Who is there dares to sayF
Hate will be vanquished by LoveO
God's in His Heaven aboveO
When those who govern us leadG
The lads they command to bleedP
When rulers march at the headG
And statesmen fall with the deadG
When Kings leap into the frayF
Fight in the old time wayF
Perish beside their menQ
Maybe O maybe thenQ
War will be part of the pastR
Peace will triumph at lastR
Meantime such lads as IS
Who wouldn't have harmed a flyS
Have got to get out and killT
Lads whom we bear no illT
As simple as we no doubtU
Who seek what it's all aboutU
Who die in defence of whatV
Homes that they haven't gotW
Who perish when all they askX
is to finish the daily taskX
Make bread for the little onesY
Not feed the greed of the gunsY
When fields of battle are redG
And diplomats die in bedG

Robert Service


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