Fuzzy-Wuzzy

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



(Soudan Expeditionary Force)
 
 
 
We've fought with many men acrost the seas,
  An' some of 'em was brave an' some was not:
The Paythan an' the Zulu an' Burmese;
  But the Fuzzy was the finest o' the lot.
We never got a ha'porth's change of 'im:
  'E squatted in the scrub an' 'ocked our 'orses,
'E cut our sentries up at Sua~kim~,
  An' 'e played the cat an' banjo with our forces.
    So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
    You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
    We gives you your certificate, an' if you want it signed
    We'll come an' 'ave a romp with you whenever you're inclined.
 
We took our chanst among the Khyber 'ills,
  The Boers knocked us silly at a mile,
The Burman give us Irriwaddy chills,
  An' a Zulu ~impi~ dished us up in style:
But all we ever got from such as they
  Was pop to what the Fuzzy made us swaller;
We 'eld our bloomin' own, the papers say,
  But man for man the Fuzzy knocked us 'oller.
    Then 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' the missis and the kid;
    Our orders was to break you, an' of course we went an' did.
    We sloshed you with Martinis, an' it wasn't 'ardly fair;
    But for all the odds agin' you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square.
 
'E 'asn't got no papers of 'is own,
  'E 'asn't got no medals nor rewards,
So we must certify the skill 'e's shown
  In usin' of 'is long two-'anded swords:
When 'e's 'oppin' in an' out among the bush
  With 'is coffin-'eaded shield an' shovel-spear,
An 'appy day with Fuzzy on the rush
  Will last an 'ealthy Tommy for a year.
    So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' your friends which are no more,
    If we 'adn't lost some messmates we would 'elp you to deplore;
    But give an' take's the gospel, an' we'll call the bargain fair,
    For if you 'ave lost more than us, you crumpled up the square!
 
'E rushes at the smoke when we let drive,
  An', before we know, 'e's 'ackin' at our 'ead;
'E's all 'ot sand an' ginger when alive,
  An' 'e's generally shammin' when 'e's dead.
'E's a daisy, 'e's a ducky, 'e's a lamb!
  'E's a injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
'E's the on'y thing that doesn't give a damn
  For a Regiment o' British Infantree!
    So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
    You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
    An' 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air --
    You big black boundin' beggar -- for you broke a British square!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 03, 2023

2:24 min read
2,512

Quick analysis:

Scheme a bcbcdadxEEff ghghijijkkjj elelxjxjjjjj mcmxxjejEEjj
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 2,422
Words 447
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 1, 12, 12, 12, 12

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

All Rudyard Kipling poems | Rudyard Kipling Books

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1 Comment
  • ronaldd.39964
    I just finished Winston Churchill's "The River War", detailing his experiences as an officer of the 21st Lancers, fighting the Madhist forces in Sudan under the somewhat infamous General Kitchener. A brutal war. Churchill never used the name "Fuzzy Wuzzy" and he spoke with deep respect for the Khlifah's soldiers. Having seen some of the Sudanese swords, one can understand the deep respect (at least) that the common soldiery would have had for their foes. 
    LikeReply1 year ago

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