The Crusaders

A poem by Edward Dyson

What price yer humble, Dicko Smith, in gaudy putties girt,
With sand-blight in his optics, and much leaner than he started,
Round the 'Oly Land cavorting in three- quarters of a shirt,
And imposin' on the natives ez one Dick the Lion 'Earted?

We are drivin' out the infidel, we're hittin' up the Turk,
Same ez Richard slung his right across the Saracen invader
In old days of which I'm readin'. Now we're gettin' in our work,
'N' what price me nibs, I ask yeh, ez a qualified Crusader!

'Ere I am, a thirsty Templar in the fields of Palestine,
Where that hefty little fighter, Bobby Sable, smit the heathen,
And where Richard Coor de Lion trimmed the Moslem good 'n' fine,
'N' he took the belt from Saladin, the slickest Dago breathin'.

There's no plume upon me helmet, 'n' no red cross on me chest,
'N' so fur they haven't dressed me in a swanking load of metal;
We've no 'Oly Grail I know of, but we do our little best
With a jamtin, 'n' a billy, 'n' a battered ole mess kettle.

Quite a lot of guyver missin' from our brand of chivalry;
We don't make a pert procession when we're movin' up the forces;
We've no pretty, pawin' stallion, 'n' no pennants flowin' free,
'N' no giddy, gaudy bedquilts make a circus of the 'orses.

We 'most always slip the cattle 'n' we cut out all the dog
When it fairly comes to buttin' into battle's hectic fever,
Goin' forward on our wishbones, with our noses in the bog,
'N' we 'eave a pot iv blazes at the cursed unbeliever.

Fancy-dress them old Crusaders wore, and alwiz kep' a band.
What we wear's so near to nothin' that it's often 'ardly proper,
And we swings a tank iv iron scrap across the 'Oly Land
From a dinkie gun we nipped ashore the other side of Jopper.

We ain't ever very natty, for the climate here is hot;
When it isn't liquid mud the dust is thicker than the vermin.
Ten to one our bold Noureddin is some waddlin' Turkish pot,
'N' the Saladin we're on to is a snortin' red-eyed German.

But be'old the eighth Crusade, 'n' Dicko Smith is in the van,
Dicko Coor de Lion from Carlton what could teach King Dick a trifle,
For he'd bomb his Royal Jills from out his baked-pertater can,
Or he'd pink him full of leakage with a quaint repeatin' rif1e.

We have sunk our claws in Mizpah, and Siloam is in view.
By my 'alidom from Agra we will send the Faithful reelin'!
Those old-timers botched the contract, but we mean to put it through.
Knights Templars from Balmain, the Port, Monaro, Nhill, andl Ealin'.

We 'are wipin' up Jerus'lem; we were ready with a hose
Spoutin' lead, a dandy cleaner that you bet you can rely on;
And Moss Isaacs, Cohn, and Cohen, Moses, Offelbloom 'n' those
Can all pack their bettin' bags, and come right home again to Zion.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Crusaders' by Edward Dyson

comments powered by Disqus