Life was good before the nostalgia came.
This fatal pain.
16th August 1808,
we came to Obidos in column,
cloaked in Wellesley's glory and fame.
Old Beaky was strict so we must behave
but they gave us what they had to drink.
We kissed many random girls,
as we paraded down the lanes.
So certain of the outcome
of the conflict planned for the very next day.
I have to say we partied hard
for we were the vanguards flame.
The morning came.
We marched with mortal thought to Roleia
and there we found the French.
Should of been a walkover.
We were the 29th.
Mad Colonel Lake charged up the gulley.
He wanted Delaborde for himself.
Killed himself and almost all my mates.
I survived to carry the shame.
The day the nostalgia came.
They found me when collecting corpses,
I was trapped under the remains of John.
When the medic held me shivering he told me
You are suffering from nostalgia.
To explain away my pain.
Nostalgia never goes away.
I followed the Beak through to Waterloo.
I saw the whole thing through.
I returned to a gentle England
that could never be the same.
The estate felt cold and tawdry.
I kept looking for someone to blame.
Acquaintances and servants distanced,
the dead the only friends I can name.
I can only talk about the fire,
that evil European game.
Doctors say it is nostalgia for the war.
From before I felt this shame.
(Nostalgia. Originally the word was coined in 1668 by a medical scholar called Johannes Hofner who thought he could cure the homesickness that debilitated the mercenary soldiers on whom his nations defence depended. By the Napoleonic wars it had become a military cover-all description for what we would now call PTSD. Only terminology changes.)