The Marine - Folk Song

A poem by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

(Poitevin)


The bold Marine comes back from war,
So kind:
The bold Marine comes back from war,
So kind:
With a raggety coat and a worn-out shoe.
"Now, poor Marine, say, whence come you,
All so kind?"

I travel back from the war, madame,
So kind:
I travel back from the war, madame,
So kind:
For a glass of wine and a bowl of whey,
'Tis I will sing you a ballad gay,
All so kind.

The bold Marine he sips his whey,
So kind:
He sips and he sings his ballad gay,
So kind:
But the dame she turns toward the wall,
To wipe her tears that fall and fall,
All so kind.

What aileth you at my song, madame,
So kind?
I hope that I sing no wrong, madame,
So kind?

Or grieves it you a beggar should dine
On a bowl of whey and the good white wine,
All so kind?

It ails me not at your ballad gay,
So kind:
It ails me not for the wine and whey,
So kind:

But it ails me sore for the voice and eyes
Of a good man long in Paradise.--
Ah, so kind!

You have fair children five, madame,
So kind:
You have fair children five, madame,
So kind:

Your good man left you children three;
Whence came these twain for company,
All so kind?

"A letter came from the war, Marine,
So kind:
A letter came from the war, Marine,
So kind:
A while I wept for the good man dead,
But another good man in a while I wed,
All so kind."

The bold Marine he drained his glass,
So kind:
The bold Marine he drained his glass,
So kind.
He said not a word, though the tears they flowed,
But back to his regiment took the road,
All so kind.

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