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Table Of Contents: The First Hundred Thousand

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    We do not deem ourselves A 1,
    We have no past: we cut no dash:
    Nor hope, when launched against the Hun,
    To raise a more than moderate splash.

    But yesterday, we said farewell
    To plough; to pit; to dock; to mill.
    For glory? Drop it! Why? Oh, well--
    To have a slap at Kaiser Bill.

    And now to-day has come along.
    With rifle, haversack, and pack,
    We're off, a hundred thousand strong.
    And--some of us will not come back.

    But all we ask, if that befall,
    Is this. Within your hearts be writ
    This single-line memorial
    He did his duty--and his bit!

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The First Hundred Thousand
Ian Hay

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