The Night of the Bayonet Poem

The night was filled with dark and cold,
When Sergeant Talbert the story’s told,
Pulled out his poncho and headed out,
To check the lines dressed like a Kraut.

Upon a trooper our hero came,
Fast asleep; he called his name.
“Smith, oh Smith, get up, it’s time
To take your turn out on the line.”

Private Smith, so very weary,
Cracked an eye, all red and bleary,
Grabbed his rifle and did not tarry,
Hearing Floyd, but seeing Gerry.

“It’s me!” cried Tab. “Don’t do it!” and yet,
Smith charged toute de suite with bayonet.
He lunged, he thrust, both high and low,
And skeweth the boy from Kokomo.

And as they carried him away,
Our punctured hero was heard to say,
“When in this war you venture out,
best never do it dressed as a Kraut!”

Written by Erik Jendresen from Band of Brothers
based on the research from the Veterans of Easy Company
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2 thoughts on “The Night of the Bayonet Poem

  1. Unless you are a Kraut, of course, in which case it’s de rigeur.

    There’s a passage in a novel by the Scottish writer Eric Linklater in which his hero is part of a First World War night attack with fixed bayonets. They’re creeping along in single file when the Captain, leading, suddenly stops. Our hero stops a fraction slower, hears a muffled cry of pain, and then the Sergeant hissing, “Heaven help ye! Ye’ve stuck yir bayonet up the Captain’s airse!” at which our hero uncontrollably laughs, the Germans open up and the attack is aborted.

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