The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Part 1

Once upon a time

There was a troop of soldiers,

Born from an old tin spoon,

Holding rifles at their shoulders,

In uniforms of red and blue.

Each looked exactly

Like the next

Except for one

Who was last

To be cast

And stood firmly

On one leg.

When the lid was removed

From the box where they lay,

A child gasped with joy

And lined them up on parade

Before a paper fort;

In the doorway stood

A paper dancer

Wearing a tulle skirt.

She held one leg so high

It couldn’t be seen at all;

The little tin soldier gave a sigh –

She stood firmly

On one leg.

Steadfast Tin Soldier

Part 2

The tin soldier wished

For the paper dancer

To become his paper wife,

But she lived in a castle

And was too refined

To spend her paper life

In a crowded cardboard carton.

When the lid was placed over

The rest of the troop

Only the soldier remained;

His eyes wouldn’t leave

Her paper body

And he longed for her in vain.

While she was erect

On her paper toes,

He stayed steadfast

On one leg made of tin.

When morning came,

The soldier was moved

To wait on the window sill,

When he was blown

By a gust of wind

Onto the street below.

He landed on his head

With his bayonet stuck

Between the cobblestones.

The Steadfast Tin Solder Part 2

Part 3

A drop of rain bounced

Off cobbles like boulders;

A raindrop exploded

On the tin soldier,

Then another.

Until it became a downpour.

Puddles formed;

Water filled the gutter.

Two street urchins with a boat

Made of newspaper

Spotted the soldier

And set him afloat.

Buffeted by waves

The paper boat

Pitched up and down,

Span around and around,

But the dizzy tin soldier

Stayed steadfast and erect,

His rifle at his shoulder.

Suddenly the boat was washed

Under a plank of wood,

Where a water rat stood,

Demanding a toll.

As the boat raced along

With the rat right

Behind – gnashing its teeth.

The tin soldier glimpsed daylight

But he also heard roaring:

Where the plank ended

The gutter

Plunged

Into a huge canal.

Steadfast Tin Soldier and the rat

Part 4

The paper boat span round

Until it was full of rain

But the tin soldier remained

Steadfast

With thoughts of the pretty dancer

He hoped to see again.

He plunged through the dissolving boat

Into the mouth of a trout,

But the steadfast tin soldier

Stood erect,

His rifle at his shoulder.

The steadfast Tin Soldier and the Fish

A sudden flash like a lightning bolt

And the fish was opened wide

And there was a gasp of surprise

At the tin soldier inside.

He was placed beside

A box of tin soldiers

From where he could see

A paper fort

And a pretty

Paper dancer

Balancing

On one leg.

The soldier’s paint had flaked away

His bayonet was gone

No child would want to play

With him – the soldier’s life was done.

He was tossed

Into the terrible heat

At the centre of a fire

But the steadfast tin soldier

Stood erect,

His rifle at his shoulder.

Suddenly a door opened

And a powerful gust of wind

Seized the pretty dancer

And blew her into the stove

Where she burst into a dazzling flame

As the tin soldier melted away.

Steadfast Tin Soldier in the Fire

All images found on Pinterest

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