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Oh, Sergeant Death,
I've served with you,
And chanced my breath
A time or two!


I've seen brave men
Turn green as sin,
When you have coughed,
"Fall in, fall in!"


I've heard brave men
With cold fear shout,
When you have piped,
"Fall out, fall out!"


Where'er a lad
Would do his part,
'Tis you that probes
His inmost heart.


Though all be stirred
By drums a-roll,
'Tis you that finds
The soldier soul,


And takes him through
The conqueror's drill,
And helps him home,
Or leaves him still.


'Tis you that puts
In one parade
Them that were anxious
And afraid,


And them that were
Fed-up and sick,
And them that begged
You to be quick,


And them that gave
You laugh for laugh,
And bitterer chaff
For bitter chaff. . . .


Oh, you are old,
And fierce and wise,
But there is goodness
In your eyes.


And still your health
Goes round the tents--
"The Father of
The Regiments!"