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The Man From Cooks

 "You're bloody right - I was a Red,"
The Man from Cook's morosely said.
And if our chaps had won the War Today I'd be the Governor Of all Madrid, and rule with pride, Instead of just a lousy guide.
"For I could talk in Councils high To draw down angels from the sky.
They put me seven years in gaol, - You see how I am prison-pale .
Death sentence! Each dawn I thought They'd drag me out and have me shot.
"Maybe far better if they had: Suspense like that can make one mad.
Yet here I am serene and sane, And at your service to explain That gory battlefield out there, The Cité Universitaire.
"See! Where the Marzanillo flows, The women used to wash our cloths; And often, even in its flood, It would be purpled by our blood.
Contemptuous of shot and shell Our women sang and - fought like hell.
"Deep trenches there ran up and down, And linked us with the sightless town; And every morn and every night We sallied savagely to fight .
By yon ravine in broken clad I shot and killed a soldier lad.
"Such boys they were: methinks that one Looked to me like my only son.
He might have been; they told my wife Before Madrid he lost his life.
Sweet Mary! Oh if I but knew It was not my own son I slew.
" So spoke that man with eye remote And stains of gravy on his coat; I offered him a cigarette, And as he sighed with vain regret, Said he: "Don't change your dollars - wait: I'll get you twice the market rate.

by Robert William Service
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