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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

Rhyme With A Reason

Rhyme With A Reason.

Military postal officials receive many curious misssives, but rarely in rhyme. The following verses (now published for the first time) from a mail-hungry soldier bore fruit, for there chanced to be some letters for him at the Australian Base Post Office when they reached there. The opening verses are an appeal to the Regimental Censor:—

Dear Censor, hark unto my lay,
The regulations I obey,
And thus, this rainy winter day,
All stale conventions do I slay.

Kind Censor, just give this a go,
And with your pencil blue go slow;
My address 'tis hidden in the text
Of this small rhyme that I've annexed.

To the O.C.,
Postal Department,
Base Records:—

Oh! Postman sweet, a moment tarry,
And do not let these lines miscarry;
Just list awhile, and you will see
The reason for my elegy.

I'm numbered 3575;
Here comes a shell (Bang!) still alive.
You'll see I'm dodging 9.5's,
While waiting till my mail arrives.

My name is Daniel P.O' Keefe,
Two years I've dined on Bully Beef;
Please see my mail don't come to grief
Before they plant me "underneaf."

A "Lewis Gun Team" I command,
In company "A's" most noble band.
You hold for me like countless sand,
Letters by untold limits spanned.

And if these letters come too late
Unto Battalion No. 8, I'll ask my tabby,
Kerbstone Kate,
To chant to thee the Hymn of Hate.

I'm in the gallant 2nd Brigade,
The name they won was with my aid.
A Lance-Jack I have just been made;
Why should I have my mail delayed?

With these few lines I hope to impress
That I am back at my old address;
Please send my mail and you will bless
An A.I.F. soldier in distress.