Grenadier

A poem by Alfred Edward Housman

The Queen she sent to look for me,
The sergeant he did say,
‘Young man, a soldier will you be
For thirteen pence a day?’

For thirteen pence a day did I
Take off the things I wore,
And I have marched to where I lie,
And I shall march no more.

My mouth is dry, my shirt is wet,
My blood runs all away,
So now I shall not die in debt
For thirteen pence a day.

To-morrow after new young men
The sergeant he must see,
For things will all be over then
Between the Queen and me.

And I shall have to bate my price,
For in the grave, they say,
Is neither knowledge nor device
Nor thirteen pence a day.

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