Black Soldiers’ Lament
The bugle called and forth we went
To serve the crown our backs far bent,
And build what ere that must be done;
But ne’re to fire an angry gun
No heroes we no nay not one.
With deep lament we did our job
Despite the shame our manhood robbed.
We built and fixed and fixed again,
To prove our worth as proud black men
And hasten sure the Kaiser’s end.
From Scotia port to Seaford Square
Across to France the conflict there,
At Ville La Joux and Place Peronne
For God and King to right the wrong –
The number two six hundred strong.
Stripped to the waist and sweated chest
Mid-day’s reprieve much needed rest.
We dug and hauled and lifted high
From trenches deep toward the sky –
Non-fighting troops and yet we die.
The peace restored the battle won
Black sweat and toil had beat the Hun.
Black blood was spilled black bodies maimed
For medals brave no black was named,
Yet proud were we our pride unshamed.
But time will bring forth other wars,
Then give to us more daring chores
That we might prove our courage strong
Preserve the right repel the wrong,
And proud we’ll sing the battle song.