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Bugler Bill
by [?]

Bugler Bill–mild-mannered, shy–
Is straight…. But I wonder if Bill would lie?

Bugler Bill is a pensive lad,
Whether he’s workin’ or not;
Serious-faced an’ pitiful sad–
(Think he was goin’ t’ be shot!)
Whenever he bugles, some of us cry–
Reveille, taps, or mess–
With musical sob-stuff Bill gets by,
Plaintive and full of distress!

Bugler Bill is never real gay,
But built on a sour-face plan;
Bill wouldn’t laugh, whatever you’d say;
Looks like a love-poisoned man.
“Grin, ye hyenas,” he’ll say as he smokes;
I ain’t a frivolous guy–“
“Thinkin’ of all of the pain you caused folks
While learnin’ to play?” asks I.

Bugler Bill, he sighs as he turns,
Shakin’ his head at me.
“A long while ago th’ bugle I learns–
So don’t you git funny,” says he.
“My audience laughed till it cried salty tears,
An’ everyone called me a joy.
I was a clown in a circus for years–
That’s why I’m solemn, my boy!”

Bugler Bill come “out of the Draft”–
D’you s’pose at that joke he actually laughed?