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Short Shrift

Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant 1864 (Bridgwater, Somerset) – 1902 (Pretoria)



I can mind him at the start -
Easy seat and merry heart!
Said he, as he threw a glance
At the crawling ambulance:

'Some day I'll be on the ground
And the van will hurry round!
Doc. will gravely wag his head:
'No use now! the poor chap's dead!'

'Every man must, soon or late,
Turn up at the Golden Gate:
When we weigh in - you and I -
How can horsemen better die!'

On that sunlit steeple course
He lay prone beneath his horse,
Never more his pal may ride
By that gallant hlorseman's side.

'Reckless fool?' What matter, mate?
All his time he'd ridden straight -
Went (smashed 'gainst that wall of sod!)
Spurred and booted to his God.

Carve in stone above his head
Words that some old Christian said:
'Grace he sought, and grace he found,
'Twixt the saddle and the ground!'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant

Harry "Breaker" Harbord Morant (born Edwin Henry Murrant, 9 December 1864 – 27 February 1902) was an Anglo-Australian drover, horseman, bush poet and military officer, who was convicted and executed for murder during the Second Anglo-Boer War. While serving with the Bushveldt Carbineers during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Lieutenant Morant was arrested and court-martialed for war crimes—one of the first such prosecutions in British military history. According to military prosecutors, Morant retaliated for the death in combat of his commanding officer with a series of revenge killings against both Boer POWs and many civilian residents of the Northern Transvaal. more…

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