’Twas on the 5th of December, in the year of 1896.
Lord Wolseley reviewed the military in their tactics,
Near by Edinburgh, in the Queen’s Park,
While the accoutrements of the soldiers shone like diamonds in the dark.
The time gun, from the castle, belched forth earthly thunder.
Which made the people start and wonder;
But when they knew it was the signal for the review
To the Queen’s Park they ran in numbers not a few.
Fortunately the weather was really very fine,
And helped to make the scene look more sublime,
And of people there was a very great crowd,
And in praise of Lord Wolseley they all spoke very loud.
The troops paraded in the Queen’s Park at half-past eleven o’clock
Still multitudes of people to the Park did flock;
And when the Inniskilling Dragoons did appear,
The gorgeous sight of them did the people’s hearts cheer.
The Dragoons were under command of Colonel Thomson, with the band on the right,
Which certainly was a most stirring sight;
And on the left formed right of the line,
And detachments of Artillery from Leith made the scene sublime.
And from Leith there was the Royal Engineers, from H.M.S. Dido,
And they looked beautifully dressed up all in a row;
And the lst Royal Scots looked very fine,
Then on the left were the Volunteer Infantry in front of the line.
Lord Wolseley by the centre staff rode along the line,
With his spirits light while the sun did shine
On the burnished arms of the soldiers in grand array,
While he seemed to be highly pleased with their grand display.
Then preparations were made for the march past,
First came the Head—Quarter’s Staff-Captain Elliot riding very fast;
Then came Lieutenant Smyth and Captain Pollock,
Also Colonels Street, Patten and Rooke, and General Chapman all in a flock,
Who alone of the number saluted with his sword,
While the spectators in admiration spoke not a word;
Then followed the Dragoons in squadrons at the walk,
Bearing lances, while followed contingents of Artillery, and Royal Engineers at their back.
Then followed the Royal Scots, while their pipes loudly thrums,
And most beautiful their band played “Dumbarton’s Drums”;
The last movement of all was an advance of the whole line,
Which Lord Wolseley declared was really very fine.
Then the Royal Scots band played “Blue Bonnets over the Border,”
Then the line halted and gave the general salute in good order;
And that concluded the military review for the day,
And the spectators returned to their homes with spirits light and gay.
I wish success to Lord Wolseley for he’s a good man,
And to deny it there’s few people can;
Because he is a great military commander,
And as brave as the great Alexander.