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'Why the Kaiser Hates England. Or, What Happened at Rapparee' – W. H. Coates 

A poem about Alfie & the Kaiser by W.H. Coates circulated to the troops in the first world war to boost morale. 
 
 
When Kaiser Will’um was y’uth 
He com’d t’Combe one day, 
And at the big hotel out there 
He stopped on holiday; 
Young Kaiser Billy airly show’d 
A liking for the sea, 
So ev’ry morning for a dip, 
He went t’Rapparee. 
One morning after Mister Bill 
Had had his usual swill, 
He started chucking stones about, 
(He never could keep still); 
The bathing boxes catch’d his eye, 
“Ah! Ah!” said he wi’glee, 
“The painted numbers on the doors 
Mine target now shall be.” 
He found the range, and blazed away, 
Delighted wi’ his skill 
(He always was a decent shot, 
Was lordly Kaiser Bill.) 
Now Philip Price the boxes keep’d 
Upon this shingly shore, 
A sturdy chap of Devon breed 
Was Phil, no less, no more. 
Now Philip’s son was on the beach 
Alfie that y’ungster’s name, 
And when the paint begin’d t’fly 
He shouted “What’s y’r game?” 
With flashing eye and haughty mien, 
The Kaiser faced the lad, 
“Do you know who I am?” he cried, 
And my! He looked some mad. 
But boldly answered little Alf, 
“I don’t care who y’u be, 
I’ll let ‘ee know you don’t command 
Down yur on Rapparee.” 
The Kaiser up and landed Alf 
A clout beside the jaw, 
It knocked poor Alfie right down dap, 
So sudden was the blaw. 
But up he got and went for Bill 
Just like a Devon bull, 
I’m ‘fraid he didn’t stop t’think 
‘Bout any golden rule; 
He knocked the Kaiser on the nose 
And tapped the r’yal blid, 
And then he bashed ‘n in his eye, 
Upon me word he did. 
The Kaiser was a strapping chap, 
Older than Alfie, too, 
And though he couldn’t use his left, 
His right was straight and true; 
For he had l’arned the boxing art, 
‘Mongst princes ’twas the rule, 
While all the science Alfie know’d 
He l’arned down Lower School. 
 
 
Now up, now down, this bathing cove, 
They punch’d, the clinch’d, they fal’d, 
I s’pose it was a dre’dful sight 
The way that chaps was mall’d; 
Our Phil looked down from top the steps 
And rubbed his hands wi’ glee, 
To see Bill Kaiser’s claret tapped 
Down there on Rapparee. 
Bill’s tutor and attendants all 
Had gone off round the rocks, 
So when they com’d upon the scene 
It giv’d ’em all gurt shocks; 
They rinn’d between young Alf and Bill 
And stopped their little game, 
Then tutor turned to Bill and said: 
“Your highness! Fie, for shame! 
Lowering y’ur dignity like this 
Fighting a peasant lad. 
Whatever will y’ur mother say? 
‘Twil make her feel quite bad.” 
Then Kaiser turned to Alf, and said: 
“Mine friend! You’ll rue this day 
For what you’ve done t’mine poor nose. 
Mine word! I’ll make you pay, 
I’ll build big ships and gurt big guns, 
Then one day I will come 
And blow this place t’smithereens 
And you…………..t’kingdom come.” 
The germ of hate once planted 
In this gentle “Germhun’s” breast, 
The “Kultur” grow’d and spread apace, 
He know’d no peace nor rest; 
He builded Dreadnoughts and big guns, 
And gurt big airships too, 
And teached his soldiers the goosey-step, 
Impressive sight I trow. 
Then gazing on his handiwork 
He said “Nigh is ‘The Day’ 
When I will cross the rolling deep 
And make those English pay 
For what that y’ungster did to me 
When I was over there; 
Mine nose have never been the same, 
He bent it ……………. I declare.” 
Bill’s tutor ‘fore he left the beach 
Beg’d silence ’bout the job, 
And just to keep his mouth shut tight 
Giv’d Alfie thirty bob. 
My tale is told and “Germhun” hate, 
‘Tis very plain to see, 
Was caused – because young Alf drash’d Bill 
Way down on Rapparee. 
 
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