And scanned the horizon for flame.
Then he looked through his glasses, and there, far ahead
No mistaking that tell-tale glare
He could see houses burning and falling about
Then he flung up his cap with a gratified shout
"Tis a Fire at last, that I'll swear."

THE CALL

Then he hurried below, rang a call for the others
Smith, Jones, Snooks, White, Green and the rest
Then he washed down the horses and gave them some oats
Sewed a button or two on the uniform coats
And polished the helmets with zest
Now while the brave Captain was putting things right
His men couldn't get on at all
They hurried their clothes on, inside out
For some of the members were much put about
Being quite unprepared for a call.
  THE UNPREPARED

For instance, the flash-light photographer, Green
On taking a group was intent
He'd just got them posed with trouble and tact
Their grouping was fine, 'twas just exact
Then he murmured as out he went
"Please don't move, till I tell you
Kindly each keep your nose to the right."
Then to get the plates, to his dark-room goes down
When he hears the call, and bolts into the town
And the noses kept right all the night.

Jones, the hairdresser, was shaving a man
And had scraped one side with care
When he heard the call, left the shop in a whirl
And the customer had to propose to his girl
This side up with hair.

Snooks, the schoolmaster, was rendering Hamlet
To his class, at this he was deft
"To be or not to be?" read he
When he heard the call and sighed,
"Ah me! Not to be." and left.
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