Learn More

Owain Glyn


Drummer Boy


The circus toured the local towns
With dancing dogs, and painted clowns,
Behind them marched the King's Dragoons
To harvest men, for their platoons.
They set up on the village green
By one and all, they could be seen.

Young Billy White marched up and down,
Ignored the dogs, and hapless clown.
He'd dreamed he'd wear a coat of red,
Deeds of valor filled his head.
But he was only twelve years old,
Too young, for war, so he'd been told.

The sergeant spotted Billy White,
And asked him, did he want to fight?
'Oh, yes' said Billy, 'But I'm small'
'Don't worry, lad, you'll soon grow tall'
So, Billy took the shilling, bright,
And made his mark, to go and fight.

Billy's mother shed a tear,
Heart filled with sadness, and with fear.
Her son was marching off to war,
As her dead husband had, before.
Her son was going off to fight,
The price, a monarch's shilling, bright.

With pride, he wore his scarlet coat,
As he marched south, to meet the boat.
On board, he learned, the drum, to beat,
For victory, but not, defeat.
He slept on deck, beneath the moon,
Amid the snores, of his platoon.

When the day of battle came,
He heard the sergeant, call his name.
'Billy, you be tall and proud, '
'And beat your drum, in time, out loud! '
! Cause when your comrades, hear your beat<'
'They'll march, in time, and not retreat.'

The order to advance was made,
And forward went this red parade.
The sound of Russian guns did roar,
Billy's eyes, looked on in awe.
Deafened by the awful sound,
Red bodies, littered, all around.

Still, Billy kept a perfect beat,
The sergeant screamed 'Boys, no retreat! '
The bullet ripped through Billy's chest,
He fell down dead, like all the rest.
An hour later, battle lost,
The sergeant, tasked, to count the cost.

The ground, no longer green, just red,
He sent some men, to strip the dead.
They stripped poor Billy of his coat,
And took the scarf, from round his throat.
They closed his staring, lifeless eyes,
His drum, they took, another prize.

To you, who organize, these wars,
To suit yourselves, or for your cause,
Just think of those you kill and maim,
And bow your heads, in lifelong shame! ! !

Submitted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Edited: Friday, September 13, 2013

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

The fallacy of war!

-

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Owain Glyn

Comments about this poem (Drummer Boy by Owain Glyn )

Enter the verification code :

  • Freshman - 1,953 Points Valerie Dohren (5/26/2013 10:22:00 AM)

    Fantastic write, with such a great message. War is futile - with young men fighting old men's wars! !
    Love it Owain. A definite 10. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda
  7. Cause And Effect, Charles Bukowski
  8. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
  9. And because Love battles, Pablo Neruda
  10. I Remember, Anne Sexton

Poem of the Day

poet James Whitcomb Riley

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your doll, I know;
And your tea-set blue,
And your play-house, too,
Are things of the long ago;
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Eliot, Your Modern Hollow Men, Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. The Return of The Romantic, Bijay Kant Dubey
  3. Point of Submission [Deictic Conclusions], Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  4. Gift, Frank Avon
  5. Longest Night, Nassy Fesharaki
  6. Loner, Michael Webb
  7. As One, Frank Avon
  8. ETC3, shuvo chakraborty
  9. SONNET II, Sir Toby Moses
  10. Tamil on decline, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
[Hata Bildir]