The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

Soldier, Soldier

Soldier, soldier, off to the war,

Take me a letter to my sweetheart O.

He's gone away to France

With his carbine and his lance,

And a lock of brown hair of his sweetheart O.

Fair maid of London, happy may you be

To know so much of your sweetheart O.

There's not a handsome lad,

To get the chance he's had,

But would skip, with a kiss for his sweetheart O.

Soldier, soldier, whatever shall I do

If the cruel Germans take my sweetheart O?

They'll pen him in the sail

And starve him thin and pale,

With never a kind word from his sweetheart O.

Fair maid of London, is that all you see

Of the lad you've taken for your sweetheart O?

He'll make his prison ring

With his God Save the King

And his God bless the blue eyes of my sweetheart O!

Soldier, soldier, if by shot or shell

They wound him, my dear lad, my sweetheart O,

He'll lie bleeding in the rain

And call me, all in vain,

Crying for the fingers of his sweetheart O.

Pretty one, pretty one, now take a word from me:

Don't you grudge the life-blood of your sweetheart O.

For you must understand

He gives it to our land,

And proud should fly the colors of his sweetheart O.

Soldier, soldier, my heart is growing cold --

If a German shot kill my sweetheart O!

I could not lift my head

If my dear love lay dead

With his wide eyes waiting for his sweetheart O.

Poor child, poor child, go to church and pray,

Pray God to spare you your sweetheart O.

But if he live or die

The English flag must fly,

And England take care of his sweetheart O!