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

"The Camel's Hump."

page 6

"The Camel's Hump."

They called it Musallabeh in the days of long ago,
When o d Joshua and the Israelites were there;
When caravans from East and West meandered to and fro,
And the war cry of the Hebrews filled the a'r.
It's a bold and rugged mountain, rising steer above the plain
Like a camel to its belly bogged in mud;
And the hill was led with poppies intle Springtime after rain.
But to day the hill is redder far—with blood.

Oh! the new crusading Anzacs crossed the Jordan's flowing tide,
And they smote the men of Ammon hip and thigh;
They cantered into Jericho, and took it in their stride,
And charged the Hun with murder in their eve.
Then the little English Tommies, trudging gamel through the heat.
Took the foothills of the Lebanon and stayed;
They camped in Musa labeh, with the
Turk in full retreat,
And they shelled him—lest his going be delayed.

Oh! the Camel Corps swung Northward with the Dead Sea tar behind,
Left the camels grazing happy in the rear:
They took over Musallabeh, which the Tommies said was kind.
For it wasn't very healthy living there.
Then "Jacko" came in thousands, Musallabeh to regain,
With his horsemen, footmen, airmen and his guns.
And the battle raged with fuy as he charged across the plain,
Food for slaughter, at the bidding of the Huns.

German gunners in the highlands loosed their wrath upon the hill,
The ground was rent and shattered with their shells;
And the thinning Camel phalanx yelled a fierce defiance till
Their dying groans were mingled with their yells.
They blazed away unceasing, gapping hard and gritting teeth,
They bombed till all their bombs had given out;
Then they heaved big mountain boulders on the enemy beneath,
And still retained their grip on the redoubt.

Oh! the British guns came roaring up the valley to the flash,
And their barrage fire caught "Jacko" in the neck;
And the gunners toiled like Trojans all the day and half the night,
Till "Abdul" quit, and handed in his check.
Then the Camels took a breather, and they gathered up the slain,
Tho' they wished that every Turk had been a Hun;
For they rather like old "Jacko", and they hate to give him pain,
But war is war—and battles must be won.

Oh! Allenby came smiling o'er the hills of Palestine,
And victory came hot upon his track.
He sent congratulations to the Camels—said 'twas fine;
Said he knew that we could keep the blighters back.
And to celebrate the tattle, lest the world forget the deed,
And the day we gave the foeman such a bump,
Now and henceforth and for ever, he solemnly decreed,
Musallabeh should be called "The Camels Hump."