Empire Builders

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Empire Builders
by Arthur Conan Doyle

Captain Temple, D.S.O.,
With his banjo and retriever.
"Rough, I know, on poor old Flo,
But, by Jove! I couldn't leave her."
Niger ribbon on his breast,
In his blood the Niger fever,
Captain Temple, D.S.O.,
With his banjo and retriever.

Cox of the Politicals,
With his cigarette and glasses,
Skilled in Pushtoo gutturals,
Odd-job man among the Passes,
Keeper of the Zakka Khels,
Tutor of the Khaiber Ghazis,
Cox of the Politicals,
With his cigarette and glasses.

Mr. Hawkins, Junior Sub.,
Late of Woolwich and Thames Ditton,
Thinks his battery the hub
Of the whole wide orb of Britain.
Half a hero, half a cub,
Lithe and playful as a kitten,
Mr. Hawkins, Junior Sub.,
Late of Woolwich and Thames Ditton.

Eighty Tommies, big and small,
Grumbling hard as is their habit.
"Say, mate, what's a Bunerwal?"
"Sometime like a bloomin' rabbit."
"Got to hoof it to Chitral!"
"Blarst ye, did ye think to cab it!"
Eighty Tommies, big and small,
Grumbling hard as is their habit.

Swarthy Goorkhas, short and stout,
Merry children, laughing, crowing,
Don't know what it's all about,
Don't know any use in knowing;
Only know they mean to go
Where the Sirdar thinks of going.
Little Goorkhas, brown and stout,
Merry children, laughing, crowing.

Funjaub Rifles, fit and trim,
Curly whiskered sons of battle,
Very dignified and prim
Till they hear the Jezails rattle;
Cattle thieves of yesterday,
Now the wardens of the cattle,
Fighting Brahmins of Lahore,
Curly whiskered sons of battle.

Up the winding mountain path
See the long-drawn column go;
Himalayan aftermath
Lying rosy on the snow.
Motley ministers of wrath
Building better than they know,
In the rosy aftermath
Trailing upward to the snow.