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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A FINE SUMMER MORNING, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: I had a full cousin, called arthur macnide
Last Line: "so I bid you a very good morning."
Alternate Author Name(s): Ryan, William Thomas Carroll
Subject(s): Army Life; Militarism; Military Recruitment; Soldiers; Drills & Minor Tactics


I had a full cousin, called Arthur Macnide,
And as we went roaming down by the sea side,
All nature was smiling as glad as a bride,
It was of a fine summer morning.

We met with a Sergeant in uniform fine,
A smart little drummer, all braiding and shine,
Quite ready to march at the head of the line
With his rowdy-dow-dow in the morning.

With cap on three hairs, swagger stick in his hand,
The full-chested Sergeant looked noble and grand,
Just like he was giving the word of command,
"Attention!" to squads in the morning.

He said "My fine fellow, if you'd like to 'list.
A shilling at once I will slap in your fist;
Its an opportunity not to be miss'd
Out here of a fine summer morning.

"We'll dress you up splendid in scarlet and blue,
With height of good living in boiled, roast, and stew;
The girls will run after you, loving and true,
As you march thro' the town in the morning."

The Sergeant had ribbons that flew from his cap—
O, he was an elegant, rollicking chap—
But what he was saying I knew was clap-trap,
As I thought to myself on that morning.

Said I:—"You're a gentleman gallant and gay,
But I don't think I'll 'list in the army to-day.
And I've a suspicion that all that you say
Is humbug and gammon this morning.

"Then as for your bragging about your fine clothes,
They are not your own, Sir, as I do suppose,
And you dare not sell them, no, not for your nose,
If you did you'd be flogged in the morning.

Then, as for your grub and your cooking so fine,
"I know how a soldier gets fed in the line,
On a bit of bull beef you're contented to dine,
And sup your burgoo in the morning.

"And as for the girls that are loving and true,
I have one already, and no thanks to you;
If I should enlist, Sergeant, what would she do
Left alone on a fine summer morning?

So drummer go on with your rowdy-dow-dow;
"And I'll stay at home with my hand on the plow;
I will fight when I'm needed but cannot 'list now—
So I bid you a very good morning."





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