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From Songs of Action (1898).
Said Paul Leroy to Barrow,
'Though the breach is steep and narrow,
If we only gain the summit
Then it's odds we hold the fort.
I have ten and you have twenty,
And the thirty should be plenty,
With Henderson and Henty
And McDermott in support.'
Said Barrow to Leroy,
'It's a solid job, my boy,
For they've flanked it, and they've banked it,
And they've bored it with a mine.
But it's only fifty paces
Ere we look them in the faces;
And the men are in their places,
With their toes upon the line.'
Said Paul Leroy to Barrow,
'See that first ray, like an arrow,
How it tinges all the fringes
Of the sullen drifting skies.
They told me to begin it
At five-thirty to the minute,
And at thirty-one I'm in it,
Or my sub will get his rise.
'So we'll wait the signal rocket,
Till . . . Barrow, show that locket,
That turquoise-studded locket,
Which you slipped from out your pocket
And are pressing with a kiss!
It is hers! And I had missed it
From her chain; and you have kissed it:
Barrow, villain, what is this?'
'Leroy, I had a warning,
That my time has come this morning,
So I speak with frankness, scorning
To deny the thing that's true.
Yes, it's Amy's, is the trinket,
Little turquoise-studded trinket,
Not her gift--oh, never think it!
For her thoughts were all for you.
'As we danced I gently drew it
From her chain--she never knew it
But I love her--yes, I love her:
I am candid, I confess.
But I never told her, never,
For I knew 'twas vain endeavour,
And she loved you--loved you ever,
Would to God she loved you less!'
'Barrow, Barrow, you shall pay me!
Me, your comrade, to betray me!
Well I know that little Amy
Is as true as wife can be.
She to give this love-badged locket!
She had rather . . . Ha, the rocket!
Hi, McDougall! Sound the bugle!
Yorkshires, Yorkshires, follow me!'
Said Paul Leroy to Amy,
'Well, wifie, you may blame me,
For my passion overcame me,
When he told me of his shame;
But when I saw him lying,
Dead amid a ring of dying,
Why, poor devil, I was trying
To forget, and not to blame.
'And this locket, I unclasped it
From the fingers that still grasped it:
He told me how he got it,
How he stole it in a valse.'
And she listened leaden-hearted:
Oh, the weary day they parted!
For she loved him--yes, she loved him -
For his youth and for his truth,
And for those dying words, so false.
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