Railway Tales

by Anon Generals are chosen, I am told For being very, very old And no exception to the rule Was General Augustus Moore O'Toole Who'd lived retired from Public Scrutiny Since just before the Indian Mutiny. In ancient days, as I have heard He'd led the gallant umpty-third To somewhere in Afghanistan Where they'd been butchered to a man. Since then he had not been employed Whene'er the General was annoyed Throughout the club they heard the tale The very waiters hearts would quail To hear his voice explaining more of his Grievances against the War Office. Though loud the other members snore Augustus hears the Trump of War Straightway he sallies out to find Employment of a martial kind For months in vain he haunts Whitehall They did not want him there at all The man who sees the visitors Would take and put him out of doors Girl messengers, both pert and prim Would turn their noses up at him Forgetting, as it seems to me The simplest rules of Courtesy. No matter how the vulgar sneer Success is theirs who persevere Thus after many months rebuff Someone at last digs deep enough To unearth Augustus - and so he Once more becomes a B.G.C.* Although approaching ninety-two He buckles on his sword anew To teach the temerarious Hun The things he learnt in '41** (Notice the picture we have here A portrait of the Brigadier Softening the hardships of campaign With magnums of the best champagne While he is aided in supportin' 'em By boxes sent from Mr Fortnum.) The aim for which each general strives Is losing other peoples lives And, no exception to the rule Was General Augustus Moore O'Toole When they had no more men to spare They sent him back to St Omer Where he counts Mules all afternoon Though they have promised very soon To let him, as a mild relief Count countless tins of bully-beef. Hardly a job - as you'll agree Consonant with his Dignity And also just a trifle dear At some three thousand pound a year. * Brigadier General Commanding. ** This would be 1841
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