By Luis G. Dato
In the afternoon glare, without bugles,
Without flags, or the rumble of drum,
Straight when the foe least expects it,
Charges a line of cavalry home.
Now one comes dashing full-gallop,
A stout stick of bamboo astride,
Digging his spurs for all they were worth,
Raining whips this side and that side.
Next comes the resolute center,
Sword drawn for the close-range hail,
Studying the ground with precision,
Dragging his horse like a tail.
Last but not least comes the rearguard,
Dismounted in a cloud of dust,
Dripping with sweat and somewhat late,
Write that his steed has been lost
Oh, how shall the bugles be sounded,
Of fair, gallant cavalry no less,
Shall it be a retreat or reveille,
Or a call to the tub before mess?