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 :

  • Veteran Poet - 2,763 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. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
  8. Play The Game, Jessie Pope
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

YES, write, if you want to, there's nothing like trying;
Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold?
I'll show you that rhyming's as easy as lying,
...... Read complete »


New Poems

  1. Nostalgia, Rimni chakravarty
  2. The Spirit-World, Emmanuel George Cefai
  3. Blinded by stress, Emmanuel George Cefai
  4. Of Fauns Of Satyrs, Emmanuel George Cefai
  5. The next activity, Emmanuel George Cefai
  6. As aged I, Emmanuel George Cefai
  7. true friend, Rani Jain
  8. In laziness begot, Emmanuel George Cefai
  9. When Times Will Ring with Bells, Emmanuel George Cefai
  10. Hurling themselves over the rocks, Emmanuel George Cefai
[Hata Bildir]