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The Man From Cook's Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 3

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"You're bloody right - I was a Red,"

The Man from Cook's morosely said.

And if our chaps had won the War

Today I'd be the Governor

Of all Madrid, and rule with pride,

Instead of just a lousy guide.

"For I could talk in Councils high

To draw down angels from the sky.

They put me seven years in gaol, -

You see how I am prison-pale . . .

Death sentence! Each dawn I thought

They'd drag me out and have me shot.

"Maybe far better if they had:

Suspense like that can make one mad.

Yet here I am serene and sane,

And at your service to explain

That gory battlefield out there,

The Cité Universitaire.

"See! Where the Marzanillo flows,

The women used to wash our cloths;

And often, even in its flood,

It would be purpled by our blood.

Contemptuous of shot and shell

Our women sang and - fought like hell.

"Deep trenches there ran up and down,

And linked us with the sightless town;

And every morn and every night

We sallied savagely to fight . . .

By yon ravine in broken clad

I shot and killed a soldier lad.

"Such boys they were: methinks that one

Looked to me like my only son.

He might have been; they told my wife

Before Madrid he lost his life.

Sweet Mary! Oh if I but knew

It was not my own son I slew. . . ."

So spoke that man with eye remote

And stains of gravy on his coat;

I offered him a cigarette,

And as he sighed with vain regret,

Said he: "Don't change your dollars - wait:

I'll get you twice the market rate."


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