Fix Bayonets

Among men,
there is no terror nor glory.
Like those lived,
through the moments of war's infamy.

But among these,
there is no terror nor glory.
Like those who lived,
through "Fix Bayonets!" and the "Charge!" of infantry.

As Shakespear's prose,
to put it most delicately.
"Once more into the breach" my friends,
once more to death and into history.

Invented in the many many,
charges of Cumberland.
The fixing of a blade,
upon the ends of musket-gun.

First used to pacify,
the Scottish highland men.
But now a creed,
to the Royal Highland Regiments.

A blade upon a gun,
a piece of metal with tapered point.
A knife or dagger nothing more,
but to spirits a power it anoints.

Its sturdy steel,
rights the spine of frightened men.
Its polished blade,
brings courage to timid souls.
Its pointed tip,
the wrath of anger in pale young hands.
Its razor edge,
dulls the fear ten-times fold.

Sally forth the Highland Regiments,
The Irish Guards forming in cadence.
Grenadier elite of the Coldstream contingent,
the silent rush of the Gurkhas detachment.

Foreign legionnaires, French Vortiguers,
Hessian mercenaries and the Khyber Rifles.
Prussian drilled American Continentals,
the Stalwart Swiss and their German rivals.

From Austerlizt to Waterloo,
the open steppes to world war trenches.
Asian tropics, deserts North African,
To the Falklands and dune filled beaches.

What was acted upon battlefields,
in time repeated on many a battleground.
"Fix Bayonets!" that cry most shrill,
"Charge!" echoed by sergeants in many tounges.

A credo amongst desperate men,
the bayonet their last defence.
The rage of inspired soldiers,
as they charge through enemy lines.

The bayonet, a focus perhaps,
a prism of power to the hearts of men.
Upon its bloodied surface lies,
the spectre of death's graceful dance.

With a lung-full burst,
an awful throated cry.
Many a soldier would thrust,
his bayonet in headlong drive.

A forest of gleaming metal,
shining blades upon front-thrust guns.
The craze of battle-rage,
anointed by the bayonet's pun.

Upon war's tapestry,
they rush on into fate and into glory.
Spurred on by "Fix Bayonets!",
"Charge!" led on by its deathless majesty.

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