Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

(1883-1929 / Great Britain)

Passing The Love Of Women


Yes, I've sat in the summer twilight,
Wiv a nice girl, 'and in 'and,
But I've thought even then of the shell 'oles,
Where the boys of the old Bat. stand.
I've turned to 'er lips for 'er kisses,
And I've found them kisses cold,
Stone cold and pale like a twice-told tale,
What has gorn all stale and old.
And the light in 'er eyes 'as gorn all faint,
And the sound of 'er voice grown dim,
As I 'eard the machine guns singin' aht,
A-singin' their evenin' 'ymn.
Yes, I've known the love ov a woman, lad,
And maybe I shall again,
But I knows a stronger love than theirs,
And that is the love of men.
I could keep my cushy billet, lad,
If I liked to swing the lead,
I could kiss my gal in the gloamin'
And sleep in a decent bed.
But I've 'eard my comrades callin' aht,
From across that bit ov sea,
Come back - come back - would ye loaf and slack,
And leave it to such as we ?
Come back - come back - with their old tack-tack,
I can 'ear the machine guns sing,
Come back - come back - don't skunk and slack,
For this ain't no time to swing,
Come back - come back into no man's land,
For that is the land of men,
And no man's land is the true man's land,
Come back - come back again.
Aye, the love of women draws ye, lad,
It's the oldest, sweetest spell,
But your comrade Love is stronger love,
'Cause it draws ye back to 'ell.
The love of a woman draws to 'eaven,
An' 'eaven of 'uman bliss,
To the eyes that sing, the arms that cling,
And the long, long lovers' kiss.
But your comrades keeps on callin' ye,
Callin' ye back to 'ell,
To the fear o' death and the chokin' breath,
Drawn thick with a sickly smell.
Gawd knows, old sport, I 'ave loved my lass
As a man should love his mate,
Body and soul I 'ave loved my lass,
But this love's strong - like Fate.
It 'as cut down deep, to see 'er weep,
And she knows I love 'er well,
But I must go back to the old tack-tack,
To my pals and to Bloody 'Ell.

Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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