The Five Nations

The Married Man

(Reservist of the Line)

Rudyard Kipling

THE BACHELOR ’e fights for one
    As joyful as can be;
But the married man don’t call it fun,
    Because ’e fights for three—
For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (An’ Two an’ One make Three)
’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
    An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea!

The bachelor pokes up ’is ’ead
    To see if you are gone;
But the married man lies down instead,
    An’ waits till the sights come on,
For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ a hit
    (Direct or ricochee)
’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
    An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea.

The bachelor will miss you clear
    To fight another day;
But the married man, ’e says “No fear!”
    ’E wants you out of the way
Of ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (An’ ’is road to ’is farm or the sea),
’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
    An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea.

The bachelor ’e fights ’is fight
    An’ stretches out an’ snores;
But the married man sits up all night—
    For ’e don’t like out-o’-doors.
’E’ll strain an’ listen an’ peer
    An’ give the first alarm—
For the sake o’ the breathin’ ’e’s used to ’ear
    An’ the ’ead on the thick of ’is arm.

The bachelor may risk ’is ’ide
    To ’elp you when you’re downed;
But the married man will wait beside
    Till the ambulance comes round.
’E’ll take your ’ome address
    An’ all you’ve time to say,
Or if ’e sees there’s ’ope, ’e’ll press
    Your art’ry ’alf the day—

For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (An’ One from Three leaves Two),
For ’e knows you wanted to finish your bit,
    An’ ’e knows ’oo’s wantin’ you.
Yes, ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (Our ’oly One in Three),
We’re all of us anxious, to finish our bit,
    An’ we want to get ’ome to our tea!

Yes, It an’ ’Er an’ ’Im,
    Which often makes me think
The married man must sink or swim
    An’—’e can’t afford to sink!
Oh ’Im an’ It an’ ’Er
    Since Adam an’ Eve began!
So I’d rather fight with the bacheler
    An’ be nursed by the married man!

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