Packin’ [poem, 18 January 1918]

[Editor: A poem published in Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 1, 18 January 1918.]


I’ve scratched me ’ead an’ bit me nails an’ kept me brains a’rackin’,
Athinkin’ of another game ter beat that one called “packin’.”
It sorter gets yer thinkin’ when the night’s as dark as pitch,
An’ yer donks get mad an’ stubbon, an’ yer packs they wants a ’itch.
Then maybe “snap” goes some ’ere strap, an’ yer’re wond’rin’ if it’ll holt,
An’ while yer tries ter fix things up, yer off-donk does a bolt.
An’ Fritz don’t stop ’is bloomin’ fire ter let yer fix things well;
An’ though yer’re cold — yes, freezin’ — ’e shoots as ’ard as ’ell
Yer swear an’ fix the bloomin’ strap inter a trav’lin’ state;
Then kicks yer donk, an’ in the dark yer grope round fer ’is mate.
Yer find ’im freezin’ meek an’ calm with ’is front leg through the rein,
Yer cuss at ’im, an’ fix ’im up, then off yer goes again,
But it aint no use yer grumblin’, it don’t make things no better,
Just ’ump yer kit an’ do yer bit accordin’ ter the letter.
Yer wants to hear who gives these tips — till now ’e’s a survivor —
’E knows a bit about the donks — ’e ought to — ’e’s their driver.

To those who don’t know:—

Packing: The art of conveyin’ ammunition ter the guns on donks.
Pack: The thing wot yer puts on the donk’s back, inter which yer puts the shells. Better known as “finger jammer.”
Donk: Substitute fer troublesome ’orse. Trade name, Mule.
Oft Donk: The one that bucks, so yer leads ’im on the off, or right, side.

Dvr. L. Baldwin.

Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 1, 18 January 1918, page 4

Editor’s notes:
donk = donkey; “donk” was used as disparaging term for a horse

Fritz = Germans (“Fritz” could be used in a singular sense to refer to an individual German, as well as in a collective sense to refer to the German military or to Germans in general) (similar to the usage of “Hun”)

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