Rabbits

'Ar! Gimme fights wiv foeman I kin see,
To upper-cut an' wallop on the jor.
Life in a burrer ain't no good to me.
'Struth! This ain't war!
Gimme a ding-dong go fer 'arf a round,
An' you kin 'ave this crawlin' underground.

'Gimme a ragin', 'owlin', tearin', scrap,
Wiv room to swing me left, an' feel it land.
This 'idin', sneakin' racket makes a chap
Feel secon'-'and.
Stuck in me dug-out 'ere, down in a 'ole,
I'm feelin' like I've growed a rabbit's soul.'

Ole Ginger's left the 'orspital, it seems;
'E's back at Anzac, cursin' at the game;
Fer this 'ere ain't the fightin' uv 'is dreams;
It's too dead tame.
'E's got the oopizootics reely bad,
An' 'idin' in a burrer makes 'im mad.

'E sort o' takes it personal, yeh see.
'E used to 'awk 'em fer a crust, did Mick.
Now, makin' 'im play rabbits seems to be
A narsty trick.
To shove 'im like a bunny down a 'ole
It looks like chuckin' orf, an' sours 'is soul.

'Fair doos,' 'e sez, 'I joined the bloomin' ranks
To git away frum rabbits: thinks I'm done
Wiv them Australian pests, an' 'ere's their thanks:
They makes me one!
An' 'ere I'm squattin', scared to shift about;
Jist waitin' fer me little tail to sprout.

'Ar, strike me up a wattle! but it's tough!
But 'ere's the dizzy limit, fer a cert
To live this bunny's life is bad enough,
But 'ere's reel dirt:
Some tart at 'ome 'as sent, wiv lovin' care,
A coat uv rabbit-skins fer me to wear!

'That's done it! Now I'm nibblin' at the food,
An' if a dawg shows up I'll start to squeal;
I s'pose I orter melt wiv gratichude:
'Tain't 'ow I feel.
She might 'a' fixed a note on wiv a pin:
'Please, Mister Rabbit, yeh fergot yer skin!'

'I sees me finish!… War? Why, this ain't war!
It's ferritin'! An' I'm the bloomin' game.
Me skin alone is worth the 'untin' for
That tart's to blame!
Before we're done, I've got a silly scare,
Some trappin' Turk will catch me in snare.

''E'll skin me, wiv the others 'c 'as there,
An' shove us on a truck, an' bung us 'round
Constantinople at a bob a pair
Orl fresh an' sound!
'Eads down, 'eels up, 'e'll 'awk us in a row
Around the 'arems, 'owlin 'Rabbee-oh!'

'But, dead in earnest, it's a job I 'ate.
We've got to do it, an' it's gittin' done;
But this soul-dopin' game uv sit-an'-wait,
It ain't no fun.
There's times I wish, if we weren't short uv men,
That I wus back in 'orspital again.

'Ar, 'orspital! There is the place to git.
If I thort Paradise wus 'arf so snug
I'd shove me 'ead above the parapit
An' stop a slug;
But one thing blocks me playin' sich a joke;
I want another scrap before I croak.

'I want it bad. I want to git right out
An' plug some josser in the briskit-'ard.
I want to 'owl an' chuck me arms about,
An' jab, an' guard.
An' swing, an' upper-cut, an' crool some pitch,
Or git passed out meself - I don't care w'ich.

'There's some blokes 'ere they've tumbled to a stunt
Fer gittin' 'eni the spell that they deserves.
They chews some cordite when life at the front
 Gits on their nerves.
It sends yer tempracher clean out uv sight,
An', if yeh strike a simple doc, yer right.

'I tries it once. Me soul 'ad got the sinks,
Me thorts annoyed me, an' I 'ad the joes,
I feels like no one loves me, so I thinks,
Well, Mick, 'ere goes!
I breaks a cartridge open, chews a bit,
Reports I'm sick, an' throws a fancy fit.

'Me lovin' sargint spreads the gloomy noos,
I gits paraded; but, aw, 'Struth! me luck!
It weren't no baby doc I interviews,
But some ole buck
Wiv gimblet eyes. 'Put out yer tongue!' 'e 'owls.
Then takes me temp, an' stares at me, an' growls.

''Well, well,' 'e sez. 'Wot is yer trouble, lad?'
I grabs me tummy 'ard, an' sez I'm ill.
'You are,' sez 'e. 'Yeh got corditis, bad.
Yeh need a pill.
Before yeh go to sleep,' 'e sez, 'to-night,

Swaller the bullet, son, an' you'll be right.'

''0w's that fer rotten luck? But orl the same,
I ain't complainin' when I thinks it out.
I seen it weren't no way to play the game,
This pullin' out.
We're orl uv us in this to see it thro',
An' bli'me, wot we've got to do, we'll do.

'But 'oles an' burrers! Strike! An' this is war!
This is the bonzer scrappin' uv me dreams!
A willin' go is wot I bargained for,
But 'ere it seems
I've died, someway, an' bin condemned to be
Me own Wile Rabbee fer eternity.

'But 'orspital! I tell yeh, square an' all,
 If I could meet the murderin' ole Turk
'0o's bullet sent me there t
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"Rabbits" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 7 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6527/rabbits>.

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