Last night as I toasted My wet feet and roasted A small bit of beef by a similar blaze, While nought but the wheezings, The snorings, and sneezings Of comrades grouping in Dreamland's haze Disturbed the fine vision -- The picture Elysian -- That Fancy's weird wand conjured up to my thought, As she stood like a spooke, In a garb of blue smoke, And amid the hot embers her wonders she wrought. Adown a highway We were marching so gay An army with banners bedecked o'er and o'er With the brightest garlands Wove by fairest of hands, While a flaming bouquet stuck in each musket bore. Each triumphal arch It met on the march Was blazoned with "Peace"; "Welcome home each loved one"; While maid, wife, and mother Would with rapture discover And rush out to meet lover, husband, and son! I forgot all my sore toes -- Nay, all of my woes -- As I sprang to the threshold and clasped her dear waist; And every campaign I'd gone over again To get from those ripe lips another such taste. But as I flew to her I dropped my fine skewer, And with it my supper. I mastered my grief As the vanishing vision of joy's Elysian, But I couldn't get over the loss of the beef!

Soldier Life

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Last modified 18-April-2001