Time is of the essence only in this mortal life,
With decisions seeming pressing, and days with trouble rife.
But alas to us immortals, time is but a drudge
And what to you is fleeting, to us those seconds trudge.
I was there when Adam wakened in God's likeness long ago
And I saw the work at Babel, workmen rushing to and fro.
I walked the Hanging Gardens, in Babylon so grand,
Saw the pyramids of Egypt being built upon the sand.
I saw the balmy Med, you know, become a Roman lake,
I walked the hills of Athens, it's beauty to partake;
I marched with Ceasar's legions, into every land and clime
And forefront of each battle, you would see this face of mine.
I have fought the hordes of Mongols, I have fought barbaric swine,
I have coughed and bled my life away at least a hundred times.
I have frozen in the Northlands, I have borne the desert heat
And face to face in battle, the Burmans I did meet.
I have sailed the raging waters, whilst a hurricane did blow,
With hell aragin' o'er me, and a briny grave below.
I have heard the groan of timbers, I have felt the vessel shake,
As we took her round the Horn, when I sailed with Francis Drake.
I was there with valiant Pickett, as we tried to take that hill,
As the flower of the Southland, their precious blood did spill.
I heard the screams of dying, I smelled the stench of death
As brave men all around me were gasping their last breath.
I saw the bearded oldsters, being put in shallow graves,
Beside the callow youngsters, who had never had to shave.
I was there when Teddy R., led the charge up San Juan Hill,
In a forest glen in Belgium, my life blood I would spill.
I have fought the steamy jungles, and walked through deadly towns
In a land once known for freedom, now for violence renown.
I have known a thousand comrades, and half a hundred loves
Who are watching, cheering for me, in that grandstand up above.
So I will ply my trade, friend, as long as I have breath,
For my business is to soldier, my commodity is death.
How long? I've asked that often, a weary way I've trod,
But the answer is not mine, friend, the One who knows is God.