“Sabre Rattling”

by Andrew Thornebrooke


My father always taught me well
A lesson he in youth had won,
An iron rule I still recall:
Beware the chime of sabres’ bells.

Do not adopt in haste the gun,
And rush to gloriously fall
Or see another poor boy felled,
In battle’s mire and retreat’s run.

He bade me flee the trumpets’ calls
And not be dragged to unknown hell.
But I had seen his pride, well won,
And marched away to mother’s bawl.

A father now, my sons I tell:
They never fought a single one,
Those party suits, who for souls trawl,
So flee the chime of sabres’ bells.