William Topaz McGonagall ( )


Lines in Praise of Tommy Atkins


Success to Tommy Atkins, hes a very brave man,
And to deny it theres few people can;
And to face his foreign foes hes never afraid,
Therefore hes not a beggar, as Rudyard Kipling has said.

No, hes paid by our Government, and is worthy of his hire;
And from our shores in time of war he makes our foes retire,
He doesnt need to beg; no, nothing so low;
No, he considers it more honourable to face a foreign foe.

No, hes not a beggar, hes a more useful man,
And, as Shakespeare has said, his lifes but a span;
And at the cannons mouth he seeks for reputation,
He doesnt go from door to door seeking a donation.

Oh, think of Tommy Atkins when from home far away,
Lying on the battlefield, earths cold clay;
And a stone or his knapsack pillowing his head,
And his comrades lying near by him wounded and dead.

And while lying there, poor fellow, he thinks of his wife at home,
And his heart bleeds at the thought, and he does moan;
And down his cheek flows many a silent tear,
When he thinks of his friends and children dear.

Kind Christians, think of him when far, far away,
Fighting for his Queen and Country without dismay;
May God protect him wherever he goes,
And give him strength to conqner his foes.

To call a soldier a beggar is a very degrading name,
And in my opinion its a very great shame;
And the man that calls him a beggar is not the soldiers friend,
And no sensible soldier should on him depend.

A soldier is a man that ought to be respected,
And by his country shouldnt be neglected;
For he fights our foreign foes, and in danger of his life,
Leaving behind him his relatives and his dear wife.

Then hurrah for Tommy Atkins, hes the peoples friend,
Because when foreign foes assail us he does us defend;
He is not a beggar, as Rudyard Kipling has said,
No, he doesnt need to beg, he lives by his trade.

And in conclusion I will say,
Dont forget his wife and children when hes far away;
But try and help them all you can,
For remember Tommy Atkins is a very useful man.



William Topaz McGonagall's other poems:
  1. Colinton Dell and its Surroundings
  2. Saved by Music
  3. The Sunderland Calamity
  4. The Faithful Dog Fido
  5. The Burial of Mr. Gladstone


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