Sounding the retreat 2016
Picture by kind permission of Anthony Bishop
A Rifleman to His Enemies
I am a Rifleman and I will come for you,
I will disregard your fire, each frenzied round, each frantic shot,
For if you show yourself to fight,
Infernal day of Stygian night.
Have faith that you will miss , and I will not,
You will slow me down, with hidden traps, and buried threat.
And though with every driven yard I`ll doubt the road ahead,
And with every measured stride, I`ll taste familiar dread,
I`ll sound the advance and drive and march and see your challenge met.
Where you are cruel and craven in your cowardice, I will be just,
Where you have looted and bullied and cowed,
I will empower and protect and see the Afghan proud,
My only theft is fear, my levy only trust.
I will stand in sombre salute, to the coffins you create,
Console those you have bereaved and nurture those you maim,
But I`ll not blind my thoughts with blame,
Nor surrender my sole to hate.
And when at home, I`ll touch with patient grace
To cold apathy and gathered crowds the same,
In certain knowledge that i will come again,
To this fertile, futile, half forsaken place.
I am swift of thought and bold of heart,Heed this warning i impart;
I will come at you with everything I can,
For I am and ever will be, a Rifle`s Man.
Captain John Barry
Composed in Patrol Base Silab, Afghanistan 2009
Pictures from Face Book and Google