Constab Ballads (1912)

Flat-Foot Drill

Fus’ beginnin’, flat-foot drill,
Larnin’ how fe mek right tu’n:
“‘Tention ! keep you’ ban’s dem still,
Can’t you tek in dat a li’l?
Hearin’ all, but larnin’ none.

“But seems unno all do’n-ca’,
Won’t mek up you’ min’ fe larn;
Drill-instructor boun’ fe swea’,
Dealin’ wid you’ class all day,
Neber see such from A barn.

“Eight tu’n, you damn’ bungo brut’!
Do it so, you mountain man;
Car’ behin’ de bluff lef’ foot,
Seems i’ frighten fe de boot!
Why you won’t keep do’n you’ han’?

“Shet you’ mout’! A wan’ no chat!
Fabour say you pick up nong,[1]
Sence you nyamin’ Depot fat
An’ ‘top sleep ‘pon so-so mat,
But A mean fe pull you’ tongue.[2]

“Wonder when unno wi’ fit
Fe move up in-a fus’ squad,
Use carbine an’ bayonet!
Wait dough, — unno wi’ larn yet, —
Me wi’ drill you ti’ you mad.”

  1. It seems you are getting ‘beany’ now
  2. So that you can’t talk


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This work (Poems by Claude McKay by Claude McKay) is free of known copyright restrictions.