Poetry - Tiger Battalion

Songs of Australia's Infantry

Parading, we stand in serried rows,
Battalions formed from across our Land;
Each has a light within that glows —
Deep faith in those with whom he stands.

When within our hearts we forage —
While bearing Australia’s name —
We feed fear that firms our courage:
That nerve-stiffening fear of Shame.

Our pride in Country, courage, blood,
And feared prowess in deadly strife,
Sees us extract from out Man’s mud,
The foot soldier’s unmatched Life.

No paragons of the human race,
We calmly enter frays;
Man for man we claim a place
Above those of softer clays.

Oft parted from Life’s frivolity,
So too, from its placid face,
We're entered in Man’s catastrophes
To run a murderous race.

Our goal is bloodied fields to clear
And impose Humanity’s sway
O’er those whose creed gives others fear —
So Human Grace shall not decay!

Morale and mettle of high degrees
Are ours, when seeking to wreck
The purpose of crass enemies,
In need of a mortal check.

So here or there, in troubles,
Our fibre forbids false fears
When life's joy comes in bubbles,
Interspersed with comrades’ tears.

Pity us? No, save all your tears
For our mates now at endless rest;
Full done, our Duty soon clears
Each day, for ' We who face the Test'.

"What 'Test' is that?" doubters complain!
Let us bluntly make it clear —
We toil to reap Life's grimmest grain,
With high chance of a short career!

Hard-forged in Mankind’s darkest hours
As talismans of our Nation;
Where'er martial glory flowers
Our name's wreathed with Reputation!


© Ron Boxall
2IC D company Vietnam 1st Tour

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