The Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade ~ Jerome Betts


The Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade

There are tears in my ink as I sit here and think
Of the glorious role I once played,
And I hope glasses clink in the toast I now drink—
      To the Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade!

Oh, how we would jeer if there dared to appear
Some Rover-borne cad on parade
And a Purdey, it’s clear, was just not the right gear
For the Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade.

Ah, Phantoms and Sprites, gilded youth’s true delights,
And my comrades, now silvered and greyed,
We were latter-day knights as we zeroed our sights
In the Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade.

Remember the quips as the birds would eclipse
The sun, and create that dense shade?
My heartbeat still skips at the cry on our lips—
Steady, Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade!

Lord, the pheasant-attacks, the Lee-Enfields’ loud cracks
And the sounds those French partridges made,
Until time to relax with the slain heaped in stacks
By the Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade.

I hear corks’ tiny pops, or the cries of winged stops,
As I lunch at my ease in a glade,
Or imbibe amber drops near some lead-riddled copse
With the Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade.

One poor beater’s request for a bullet-proof vest
Was, regrettably, lost or mislaid,
But where he’s at rest there’s a stone to attest
From the Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade.

Is Time causing gaps in the ranks of the chaps
Former monarchs of all they surveyed?
Or were you, perhaps, just a journalist’s lapse,
Dear old Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade?

Jerome Betts

Jerome Betts  lives in Devon, England. He has written articles for a wide variety of publications, including VerbatimEnglish Today and The New Writer. His verse has appeared in The Guardian,Pennine PlatformPhoenixPoetry NottinghamStaple, and Tribune as well as web venues like Lighten Up OnLineThe New Verse NewsPer Contra and Tilt-A-Whirl.


4 thoughts on “The Rolls-Royce and Rifle Brigade ~ Jerome Betts

  1. Oh I love this one. Very evocative. I can almost smell the gunshots. I was out a few months ago and a pheasant shoot was taking place nearby. The wise pheasants were all to be seen where we were walking, but I was in terror of a bullet actually being a little too close. They were probably miles away, but they sounded much to close for comfort. Sensible pheasants, all congregating out of range! But I was glad to get back to the relative safety of the car. The perils of woodland walks! (I hope my mother doesn’t read your blogs, lol.) This post has brought it all back to me.

    Loretta Livingstone Author: Rhythms of Life Hopes, Dreams & Medals Jumping in the Puddles of Life Fire and Ice


Leave a Reply to Cate Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s