You’ve heard o’ Julius Caesar, an’ the great Napoleon, too,
An’ how the Cork Militia beat the Turks at Waterloo;
But there’s a page of glory that, as yet, remains uncut.
An’ that’s the Martial story o’ the Shlathery’s Mounted Fut.
This gallant corps was organised by Shlathery’s eldest son.
A noble-minded poacher, wid a double-breasted gun;
An’ many a head was broken, aye, an’ many an eye was shut,
Whin practisin’ manoeuvres in the Shlathery’s Mounted Fut.
An’ down from the mountains came the squadrons an’ platoons,
Four-an’-twinty fightin’ min, an a couple o’ sthout gossoons,
An’ whin we marched behind the dhrum to patriotic tunes,
We felt that fame would gild the name o’ Shlathery’s Light Dhragoons.
Well, first we reconnoithered round o’ O’Sullivan’s Shebeen-
It use to be “The Shop,” but we call it, “The Canteen:”
But there we saw a notice which the bravest heart un-nerved-
“All liquor must be settled for before the dhrink is served.”
Soon we marched, but soon again each warrior’s heart grew pale,
For risin’ high in front o’ us we saw the County Jail;
An’ whin the army faced about, ‘twas just in time to find
A couple o’ policemin had surrounded us behind.
Still, from the mountains came the squadrons and platoons,
Four-an’-twinty fightin’ min, an’ a couple o’ sthout gossoons,
Says Shlathery, “We must circumvent these bludge-onin’ bosthoons,
Or else it sames they’ll take the names o’ Shlathery’s Light Dhragoons.
“We’ll cross the ditch,” our leader cried, “an” take the foe in flank,”
But yells of consthernation here arose from every rank,
For posted high upon a tree we very plainly saw,
“Threspassers prosecuted, in accordance wid’ the law”.
“We’re foiled!” exclaimed bowld Shlathery, “here ends our grand campaign,
‘Tis merely throwin’ life away to face that mearin’ dhrain,
I’m not as bold as loins, but I’m braver nor a hin,
An’ he that fights and runs away will live to fight again”
An’ back to the mountains went the squadrons and platoons,
Fout-an’-twinty fightin’ min an’ a couple o’ sthout gossons;
The band was playing cautiously their patriotic tunes;
To sing the fame, if rather lame o’ Shlathery’s Light Dhragoons.
(From: Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French Published 1980 by Helicon Ltd.)