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The Ballad of the Berkshire Regiment

 

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Tofrek - The Ballad of the Berkshires

Let Sparta boast her monarch true
With his famed hundreds three,
I sing of Thomas Atkins, who
Can fight as well as he.
 
The Berkshire's woodcutting were out,
The sun was fierce and high,
When all amongst them and about
Thundered the Desert Cry.
 
When all about and all around
Companies "F" and "G."
The Desert with a singing sound,
Rose like a rising sea.
 
They heard the foemen as they roared,
They saw them as they came,
They formed a sudden square and poured
A flood of angry flame.
 
The sky was blind with sand and smoke,
With bullets shrieked the air,
Like wave on wave the Desert broke
Against that stubborn square.
 
But when the smoke let through the sun,
And when the Arabs ran,
Firm stood that square, the battle done
And had not lost a man.
 
And round like swathes of seaweed lay
Left by the ebbing wave,
Their foemen that were brave as they,
But not a whit more brave.
 
The Arabs of their Khalid boast,
I know as good as he -
the Berkshire lads that cowed a host -
Companies "F" and "G."
 
(Extract from "Punch",  11th April 1885)
 

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