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The Ghost of Tommy Atkins ©

Dennis Capper
Victoria, Australia
1983

I be the ghost of Thomas Atkins,
Good liege man to my King,
Expired my life at Crecy,
After feeling a French lance sting.

I be the ghost of Thomas Atkins,
A yeoman good and true,
Departed this world at Agincourt,
When a knight's sword ran me through.

I be the ghost of Thomas Atkins,
A pike I used to wield,
Sent to meet my maker,
On that English Bosworth field.

I be the ghost of Thomas Atkins,
Sword and pistol did I draw,
Cut down by Royalist cannon,
On Yorkshire's Marston Moor.

I be the Ghost of Thomas Atkins,
One of Malborough's Red coat men,
Marched half across the continent,
At Blenheim, was struck down again.

I be the ghost of Thomas Atkins,
Was a trooper dressed in Blue,
Torn to shreds by grape shot,
In a charge at Waterloo.

I be the ghost of Thomas Atkins,
Answered again my country's call,
Struck down once more at Alma,
By a Cossack's glittering sword.

I am the Ghost of Tommy Atkins
A Martini gun did lift,
Stabbed to death by assegai,
At the mission of Rorke's Drift.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
In khaki I was dressed,
When the chattering guns at Spion Kop,
Laid me down to rest.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
In Flanders muddy hell,
Went over the top at Ypres,
Then once more I fell.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
Who sailed across the sea,
Blown to bits by land mine,
on the beach at Normandy.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
I fought at Solma Ri,
Killed by Chinese shellfire,
Trying to keep Korea free.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
On a Rugged Aden Hill,
Was sniped to death by tribesmen,
The ones I was trying to kill.

I am the Ghost of Tommy Atkins,
On a rainy Belfast day,
While checking out a car bomb,
Had my young life blown away.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
Slain in the Falklands War,
Riddled by machine gun,
I once again did fall.

I am the ghost of Tommy Atkins,
Waiting for the time,
Those loud-mouthed politicians,
Put me once more in the line.


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