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Bonehead Bill Analysis

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

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I wonder 'oo and wot 'e was,

That 'Un I got so slick.

I couldn't see 'is face because

The night was 'ideous thick.

I just made out among the black

A blinkin' wedge o' white;

Then biff! I guess I got 'im crack --

The man I killed last night.

I wonder if account o' me

Some wench will go unwed,

And 'eaps o' lives will never be,

Because 'e's stark and dead?

Or if 'is missis damns the war,

And by some candle light,

Tow-headed kids are prayin' for

The Fritz I copped last night.

I wonder, 'struth, I wonder why

I 'ad that 'orful dream?

I saw up in the giddy sky

The gates o' God agleam;

I saw the gates o' 'eaven shine

Wiv everlastin' light:

And then . . . I knew that I'd got mine,

As 'e got 'is last night.

Aye, bang beyond the broodin' mists

Where spawn the mother stars,

I 'ammered wiv me bloody fists

Upon them golden bars;

I 'ammered till a devil's doubt

Fair froze me wiv affright:

To fink wot God would say about

The bloke I corpsed last night.

I 'ushed; I wilted wiv despair,

When, like a rosy flame,

I sees a angel standin' there

'Oo calls me by me name.

'E 'ad such soft, such shiny eyes;

'E 'eld 'is 'and and smiled;

And through the gates o' Paradise

'E led me like a child.

'E led me by them golden palms

Wot 'ems that jeweled street;

And seraphs was a-singin' psalms,

You've no ideer 'ow sweet;

Wiv cheroobs crowdin' closer round

Than peas is in a pod,

'E led me to a shiny mound

Where beams the throne o' God.

And then I 'ears God's werry voice:

"Bill 'agan, 'ave no fear.

Stand up and glory and rejoice

For 'im 'oo led you 'ere."

And in a nip I seemed to see:

Aye, like a flash o' light,

My angel pal I knew to be

The chap I plugged last night

Now, I don't claim to understand --

They calls me Bonehead Bill;

They shoves a rifle in me 'and,

And show me 'ow to kill.

Me job's to risk me life and limb,

But . . . be it wrong or right,

This cross I'm makin', it's for 'im,

The cove I croaked last night.


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