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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

Near Jordan

page 20

Near Jordan.

Where the dust's as thick as blankets, and the camel carts your grub;
Where there ain't no moving pictures, and there ain't no bleeding pub;
Where you've got a thirst that's worth a quid in good old Melbourne town;
'Tis there I sit and swelter while I write this jingle down.

I can see the bleeding palm trees all a-growing in the hod;
And the edyercated bloke says, "Here the chosen people trod
For forty years." Gawd-struth, its crook to stay for years;
To simply think about it makes a bloke burst into tears.

And when I gets a letter from the folks way back in town,
And to get a moment's quiet in my bivvy sits me down,
Up comes the bleeding sergeant with his "You're the man for me,
Just hustle out and give the cooks a hand to get the tea."

The sergeant nearly breaks me heart; Gawd-struth, he's cruel hard,
With his "You're for outpost duty," and "You're for stable guard."
Or its "Get those horses off the line, step lively over there";
You'd think to hear the blighter roar a Taube was in the air.

But it ain't no use to grumble, and no use to complain;
And they say one finds a turning in the very longest lane.
"For the war will soon be over, and I'll fix him up, by cripes!
When he hasn't got protection with his bleeding sergeant's stripes.

I feel in just the kind of trim to write for half a year,
And tell you all about this job, and all about the gear
We hump about from morn till night, and sleeps with it, of course;
But, strike me blind! I've got to go and feed the bleeding horse.