If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot ’em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,
For pity’s sake, DON’T SHOOT ‘EM!!
Harry “The Breaker” Morant, February 1902
Were your mates butchered by other men
In a wild and foreign war;
Were you to fight in a devil’s den
Where the gun was the only law;
Were you to witness the murder there
That no rules of war decreed,
Would you have then thought it right and fair
That the murderers be freed?
Would you have taken the fatal blame
As the victor’s cup turned sour,
As a sacrifice to the Empire’s shame,
And be shot in the final hour?
The orders whispered, to this end led,
And the bullets would end dispute,
For the cowed were silent, the others dead,
And straight would the bastards shoot.
© Dennis N. O’Brien, 2013