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(Reprinted from the ‘lllustrated Western Weekly Mews,’ Saturday, September 19, 1914.) " FORWARD! INTO THE LINE.” Aw! I’ve listed, mai dear, for a sawjer. Eaas, I've tooted tho 010 shullin’ fer sure; They’ve give me a kit, an’ they’ve give me a gun, an’ I’m gwain away to the war. Us be gwain to find this Kayser chap; us’ll wind up his watch on the Rhine; I warrant he'll grin t’other side of his face when the Deb’s get into the line. I'm leaving the tilling an’ reaping behind. I've left the ole plough in its track; When “your Kink an’ your country needs you/’ my buck, will a Dob’mshur man hold back? It never was so in old ancient days, an’ it han’t gwain to be so now; When the battles be won an’ they’ve done with me gun, why, then, I’ll come back to the plough. And if ’tis to be that I shouldn't come back, well, I seem I’d sooner be daid Than have tho folks pointing their linger at me, an’ sayin’ that I was afraid. I’m willing to take me chance on tho field; ’tis a German’s life or mine, But it shan’t be said that I turned me tail when the Deb’ms went into the line. I be jis gwain up to bid mother “goodbye,” I’ll veel better when that job’s done; Her isn’t so young as her used to be, and I be her only son. Her’ll scoldee a bit, and her’ll cry-like a bit, an’ be sure 1 won’t come back no more; But I know in her heart her’ll be proud as a quane when her boy marches oS to the war. I’ve said me farewells to sweet little Grace. Her called me her brave sawjer lad; An’ the shy way her looked an’ the proud way her spoke, I tell ’ee it made me veel glad That 1 didn’t hang back when the King wanted men. An’ now I’m in this happy case: If 1 dies, I dies for me country ; if I live, why, I live for sweet Grace. Tom Drone stood beside when I wished her gude-bye (Tom was always jealous of me). An’ when I went marching he laffed to hisself, cus he thought there was a chance now for he. So he says to Miss Grace: “ I’d not laive ’ee, my dear; I’ll bide by yer side all I can.” Mai! the look in her eyes as her says, full of scorn: “ Thanks be, you’m no Deb’mshnr man!” Aw, her waved up her hand till us marched out o’ sight, an’ her wished that her wish would come true, An’ I knaws jist axac’ly the brave sort o’ smile that lay in her eyes wet and blue. Come sword or come sickness, come gude or come ill, to be worthy this maid I have tried. Come death; wull, I’ll see that her id’n ashamed to hear how her sawjer boy died. An’ ITI bet ’ee a pound to a varden cake that when us comes marching back, The maidens ’ll turn their smiles to we, and give molly-coddlers the sack. So, blaw up the boogie, and sound the “Volleen”; my, how they bagginets shine! “’Tionl Move to the right in fonrs. Form fours. Right. Forward, into the line.”

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Bibliographic details

JAN STEWER’S APPEAL, Evening Star, Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

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JAN STEWER’S APPEAL Evening Star, Issue 15673, 11 December 1914