[Editor: This poem by W. T. Goodge (using his pseudonym of “The Colonel”) was published in his “Nutshells” column in the Orange Leader, 18 October 1899. This poem was written at the time of the Boer War (South Africa, 1899-1902).]
Simply Want to Fight.
Our soldier heroes in the main
Would be perplexed no doubt
If you should ask them to explain
What all the row’s about!
* * *
After all, it takes more courage to be a Schreiner than to be a patriot by proxy. Any crowd can urge other people to fight.
Orange Leader and Millthorpe Messenger (Orange, NSW), 18 October 1899, p. 1
row = a noisy argument, conflict, disturbance, or fight; an argument or dispute; a loud noise, commotion, or uproar
Schreiner = William Schreiner (1857-1919), a South African politician; Prime Minister (1898-1900) of the Cape Colony (later part of South Africa); during the Boer War (1899-1902) — in which the British Empire fought the South African Republic (also known as the Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State — he was criticised for seeking negotiations with the Boers, instead of taking a more warlike approach
[Editor: Changed “rows” to “row’s”. Added a comma after “After all”.]
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