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Title: Great Poems of the World War
Author: Eaton, W. D.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                     GREAT POEMS OF THE WORLD WAR

    Between the hedges of the centuries
    A thousand phantom armies go and come,
    While Reason whispers as each marches past,
    “This is the last of wars--this is the last!”
             --Lieut. Gilbert Waterhouse.

                            GREAT POEMS OF
                             THE WORLD WAR

                              W. D. EATON

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                        T. S. DENISON & COMPANY

                            COPYRIGHT, 1918
                            EBEN H. NORRIS
                              under title
                     “The War in Verse and Prose”

              Copyright, 1922, by T. S. Denison & Company

“_Great Poems of the World War_”


On a fateful day in 1914, without a warning flash or tremor, there fell
upon the world such a blast of war as human reason could not have
foreglimpsed, nor Apocalyptic vision raised, to appall the souls of men.
Twenty-seven nations took the shock and were rocked to their
foundations. Eleven were caught and knotted in the maddest agony of
conflict that ever was known. Through four years the winds of
destruction swirled and roared around the monstrous welter, before the
evil forces failed and their exhaustion brought a breathing space such
as lies at the heart of a typhoon. Around the widening edges of that
space they still muttered for a while in gusts of blood and fire, slowly
receding, slowly dying. But the great storm is gone; the long night that
seemed the night of doom is over.

Its epic has not been written. The time is too near us, the motive too
deep, the theme too vast. But out of the dark came many voices, voices
of lamentation, of home and love and hope and heroism and loftiest
ideality, of romance, of strange comedy. These had their inspiration
from a gigantic spectacle of elemental passions in cross-play, from the
thoughts and emotions not of a single people, but of all that were
fighting for the life and light of civilization. Poets great and poets
minor followed the war or fought in it, and expressed its spirit with a
personal, passionate fidelity impossible to historians.

It would not be well were all these voices lost. Many are worth fixation
where they may be heard again at will, and that is the reason for and
purpose of this book. The finest and truest of them are given here.

In making selection, availability for recitation has been considered.
There is no better way to stir the mind or fix the memory than by spoken
words of beauty in rhythmic cadence, especially in schools. It is hoped
they will be effective in such uses.

Readers will find in the captain notes many helpful sidelights upon
topics and personalities. These will commend themselves for their own


_The Press Club, Chicago._


MIDNIGHT                        _Vachel Lindsay_                     144

ACELDAMA                       _Dr. George F. Butler_                117

AFTERWARD                      _Charles Hanson Towne_                133

ALAN SEEGER                    _Washington Van Dusen_                 14

AMBULANCE DRIVER’S PRAYER, AN  _Chaplain Thomas F. Coakley_           74

AMERICAN CREED, AN             _Everard Jack Appleton_                57

ANXIOUS ANTHEMIST, THE         _Guy Forrester Lee_                   169

ANXIOUS DEAD, THE              _Lieut. Col. John McCrae_             109

APRIL SONG, AN                 _George C. Michael_                   189

ARMED LINER, THE               _H. Smalley Sarson_                   183

“AS SHE IS SPOKE”                                                    113

AS THE TRUCKS GO ROLLIN’ BY    _Lieut. L. W. Suckert_                 26

AUSTRALIA’S MEN                _Dorothea Mackellar_                   96

BATTLE LINE, THE               _J. B. Dollard_                        65

BATTLE OF BELLEAU WOOD         _Edgar A. Guest_                       29

BEFORE ACTION                  _Lieut. William Noel Hodgson_          13

BLIGHTY                        _Lieut. Siegfried Sassoon, M. C._     121

BLUE AND THE GRAY IN FRANCE    _George M. Mayo_                       41

BOY NEXT DOOR, THE             _S. E. Kiser_                         172

BRITISH ARMY OF 1914, THE      _Alfred W. Pollard_                   119

BULLINGTON                     _C. Fox Smith_                         34

BUT A SHORT TIME TO LIVE       _Sergt. Leslie Coulson_               103

CALL, THE                      _Robert W. Service_                   106

CHANT OF ARMY COOKS, A                                                66

CHRIST IN FLANDERS             _L. W._                                55

CLERK, THE                     _B. H. M. Hetherington_                94

COLUMBIA’S PRAYER              _Thomas P. Bashaw_                     82

CORP’RAL’S CHEVRONS                                                   37

CRIMSON CROSS, THE             _Elizabeth Brown Du Bridge_            48

CROSS AND THE FLAG, THE        _William Henry, Cardinal O’Connell_    45

CROWN, THE                     _Helen Combes_                        193

CRUTCHES’ TUNE, THE            _Elizabeth R. Stoner_                 108

DESTROYERS                     “_Klaxon_”                             84

DIRGE, A                       _Victor Perowne_                       90

DO YOUR ALL                    _Edgar A. Guest_                      152

DRUM, THE                      _Joseph Lee_                           67

EASTER-EGGS                    _Reginald Wright Kauffman_             89

EDITH CAVELL                   _McLandburgh Wilson_                  178

EPITAPH FOR THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER      _Annette Kohn_                  202

EVENING STAR, THE              _Harold Seton_                         81

FLAG EVERLASTING               _A. G. Riddoch_                        40

FLAG OF THE FREE               _Francis T. Smith_                    153

FLAG SPEAKS, THE               _Walter E. Peck_                      105

FLAG, THE                      _Edward A. Horton_                    173

FLEMISH VILLAGE, A             _H. A._                                92

FRANCE                         _Capt. Joseph Medill Patterson_        93

FRENCH IN THE TRENCHES         _William J. Robinson_                  19

GENTLEMEN OF OXFORD, THE       _Norah M. Holland_                    115

GOING WEST                     _Eleanor Jewett_                      123

GOLDENROD, THE                 “_Anchusa_”                           129

GOLD STAR, THE                 _Edgar A. Guest_                       17

GRAVES OF GALLIPOLI, THE       _L. L. (A. N. Z. A. C.)_               27

GREAT ADVENTURE, THE           _Major Kendall Banning_                68

“HEARTS ARE TOUCHING”                                                159

HERE AT VERDUN                 _Chester M. Wright_                   167

HOME                           _Reginald Wright Kauffman_            110

HOMECOMING, THE                _Leroy Folge_                         192

HYMN OF FREEDOM, A             _Mary Perry King_                      98

DEATH                          _Alan Seeger_                          99

IN FLANDERS’ FIELDS            _Lieut. Col. John McCrae_             101

IN THE FRONT-LINE DESKS        _Lieut. Elmer Franklin Powell_        143

JEAN DESPREZ                   _Robert W. Service_                   146

JOHN DOE--BUCK PRIVATE         _Allan P. Thomson_                    127

JUST THINKING                  _Hudson Hawley_                        80

KID HAS GONE TO THE COLORS     _William Herschell_                    23

KINGS, THE                     _Hugh J. Hughes_                      145

KNITTING SOCKS                                                       128

LET THERE BE LIGHT!            _Ruth Wright Kauffman_                196

LITANY                         _Allene Gregory_                       20

LITTLE GRIMY-FINGERED GIRL, A  _Lee Wilson Dodd_                      43

LITTLE HOME PAPER, THE         _Charles Hanson Towne_                 15

LITTLE TOWN IN SENEGAL, A      _Will Thompson_                        42

LONELY GARDEN, THE             _Edgar A. Guest_                      118

LOST ONES, THE                 _Francis Ledwidge_                    104

MAGPIES IN PICARDY             “_Tipcuca_”                           130

MAN BEHIND, THE                _Douglas Malloch_                     166

MARCHING SOLILOQUY, A                                                 71

MARINES, THE                   _Adolphe E. Smylie_                    73

MEN OF THE BLOOD AND MIRE      _Daniel M. Henderson_                 160

MIKE DILLON, DOUGHBOY          _Lieut. John Pierre Roche_             61

MISSING “IRIS”                                                        78

MORITURI TE SALUTANT           _P. H. B. L._                         120

MULES                          _C. Fox Smith_                        187

NAZARETH                       “_L._”                                 47

NIGHTINGALES OF FLANDERS, THE  _Grace Hazard Conkling_                50

NINETEEN-SEVENTEEN             _Susan Hooker Whitman_                 85

NO MAN’S LAND                  _Capt. James H. Knight-Adkin_          16

NOT TOO OLD TO FIGHT           _T. C. Harbaugh_                       75

NOT WITH VAIN TEARS            _Lieut. Rupert Brooke_                102

NOVEMBER ELEVENTH              _Elizabeth Hanly_                     198

NURSE, THE                                                            14

OLD GANG ON THE CORNER, THE    _William Herschell_                    64

OLD JIM                        _Norman Shannon Hall_                 199

OLD TOP SERGEANT, THE          _Berton Braley_                        38

ON HIS OWN                     _Adolphe E. Smylie_                   124

OUR SOLDIER DEAD               _Annette Kohn_                        195

PADRE, THE                     _Capt. C. W. Blackall_                 36

PARENTHETICALLY SPEAKING                                             176

PASSING THE BUCK               _Sergt. Norman E. Nygaard_             32

LAFAYETTE                      _Amelia Josephine Burr_                52

PIERROT GOES                   _Charlotte Becker_                     49

POILU                          _Steuart M. Emery_                     95

“POOR OLD SHIP!”               _C. Fox Smith_                         30

POPPIES                        _Capt. John Mills Hanson_              25

PRESENT BATTLEFIELD, THE       _Wright Field_                        197

RAGNAROK                       _Arthur Guiterman_                     21

RAIN ON YOUR OLD TIN HAT       _Lieut. J. H. Wickersham_             182

REFUGEES, THE                  _W. G. S._                            162

RETINUE, THE                   _Katharine Lee Bates_                 137

RETURN, THE                    _Theodore Howard Banks, Jr._           33

RIDE IN FRANCE, A             “_O. C. Platoon_”                      170

RIVERS OF FRANCE, THE          _H. J. M._                             79

ROAD TO FRANCE, THE            _Daniel M. Henderson_                  46

RUNNER MCGEE                   _Edgar A. Guest_                       57

SCRAP OF PAPER, A              _Herbert Kaufman_                      24

SERBIAN EPITAPH, A             _V. Stanimirovic_                      50

SERVICE FLAG, THE              _J. E. Evans_                         158

SERVICE FLAG, THE              _William Herschell_                   154

SHIPS THAT SAIL IN THE NIGHT   _Dysart McMullen_                     126

SILENT ARMY, THE               _Ian Adanac_                           86

SMALL TOWN SPORT, A            _Damon Runyon_                        155

SOLDIER’S FOLKS AT HOME, THE                                          59

SOLDIERS OF THE SOIL           _Everard Jack Appleton_                44

SOLDIER, THE                   _Lieut. Rupert Brooke_                102

SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE            _Le Roy C. Henderson_                 157

SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, 1918      _Almon Hensley_                       132

SONG OF THE AIR, THE           _Gordon Alchin_                       190

SONG OF THE DEAD, THE          _J. H. M. Abbott_                     161

SONG OF THE GUNS, THE          _Herbert Kaufman_                     134

SONG OF THE WINDS              _Mary Lanier Magruder_                163

SOURCE OF NEWS, THE                                                   86

SPIRES OF OXFORD, THE          _Winifred M. Letts_                   114

SPRING                         _F. M. H. D._                         123

SUDDENLY ONE DAY                                                     151

SWAN SONGS                                                            99

TANKS                          _O. C. A. Child_                       97

TELLING THE BEES               _G. E. R._                            136

THERE ARE CROCUSES AT NOTTINGHAM                                     184

THERE WILL BE DREAMS AGAIN     _Mabel Hillyer Eastman_               171

THEY SHALL NOT PASS            _Alison Brown_                        125

THEY SHALL RETURN              _J. Lewis Milligan_                   179

THREE HILLS                    _Everard Owen_                         60

TO HAPPIER DAYS                _Mabel McElliott_                     111

TO MY SON                                                             87

TO SERVE IS TO GAIN            _Charles H. Mackintosh_               179

TO SOMEBODY                    _Harold Seton_                         69

“TO THE IRISH DEAD”            _Essex Evans_                         180

FLANDERS”                      _E. M. V._                             69

TRAINS                         _Lieut. John Pierre Roche_             53

TWO VIEWPOINTS                 _Amelia Josephine Burr_                83

DAY AT ARLINGTON, THE          _Grantland Rice_                      200

VICTORY!                       _S. J. Duncan-Clark_                  191

VISION                         _Dorothy Paul_                        181

VIVE LA FRANCE!                _Charlotte Holmes Crawford_           139

WAR                            _Col. William Lightfoot Visscher_      70

WAR HORSE, THE                 _Lieut. L. Fleming_                   174

WAR ROSARY, THE                _Nellie Hurst_                        185

WATCHIN’ OUT FOR SUBS          _U. A. L._                             18

WAYSIDE IN FRANCE, A           _Adolphe E. Smylie_                    76

COUNTRY                        _Frank L. Stanton_                    151

“WHAT THINK YE?”               _W. A. Briscoe_                       165

VOOS                           _Pvt. Charles Divine_                 186

WHEN THE FRENCH BAND PLAYS                                            63

WHILE SUMMERS PASS             _Aline Michaelis_                      72

WIDOW, THE                     _Miss C. M. Mitchell_                  51

WITH THE SAME PRIDE            _Theodosia Garrison_                  116

WOES OF A ROOKIE, THE          _William L. Colestock_                141

WOMAN’S GAME, THE                                                     91

WORLD SERIES OPENED--BATTER UP!                                      177

YOUR LAD, AND MY LAD           _Randall Parrish_                     112

                     GREAT POEMS OF THE WORLD WAR




     From “Verse and Prose in Peace and War.” John Murray, Publisher,
     London. Permission to reproduce in this book.

    By all the glories of the day,
      And the cool evening’s benison;
    By the last sunset touch that lay
      Upon the hills when day was done:
    By beauty lavishly outpoured,
      And blessings carelessly received,
    By all the days that I have lived,
      Make me a soldier, Lord.

    By all of human hopes and fears,
      By all the wonders poets sing,
    The laughter of unclouded years,
      And every sad and lovely thing:
    By the romantic ages stored
      With high endeavor that was his,
    By all his mad catastrophes,
      Make me a man, O Lord.

    I, that on my familiar hill
      Saw with uncomprehending eyes
    A hundred of Thy sunsets spill
      Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
    Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
      Must say good-bye to all of this:
    By all delights that I shall miss,
      Help me to die, O Lord.




    No beauty could escape his loving eyes,
        Not even ruthless war could hide from view
        The smiling fields where crimson poppies grew,
    Nor mar the sunset’s rose and purple dyes;
    He watched a vine-clad slope, with glad surprise
        To hear grapepickers sing, although they knew
        Just on the other side, the cannon threw
    Their deadly shells and woke the startled skies.

    But over all that made Champagne so fair,
        He saw the grandeur of the field of strife,
    Exulting in the cause that placed him there,
        He felt a calm, mid all the carnage rife,
    And faced the battle with a spirit rare,
        “For death may be more wonderful than life.”



     Reproduced by special permission of the Proprietors of “Punch”

    Here in the long white ward I stand,
      Pausing a little breathless space,
    Touching a restless fevered hand,
      Murmuring comforts commonplace--

    Long enough pause to feel the cold
      Fingers of fear about my heart;
    Just for a moment, uncontrolled,
      All the pent tears of pity start.

    While here I strive, as best I may,
      Strangers’ long hours of pain to ease,
    Dumbly I question--_Far away
    Lies my beloved even as these?_




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    The little home paper comes to me,
    As badly printed as it can be;
    It’s ungrammatical, cheap, absurd--
    Yet, how I love each intimate word!
    For here am I in the teeming town,
    Where the sad, mad people rush up and down,
    And it’s good to get back to the old lost place,
    And gossip and smile for a little space.

    The weather is hot; the corn crop’s good;
    They’ve had a picnic in Sheldon’s Wood.
    And Aunt Maria was sick last week;
    Ike Morrison’s got a swollen cheek,
    And the Squire was hurt in a runaway--
    More shocked than bruised, I’m glad they say.
    Bert Wills--I used to play with him--
    Is working a farm with his Uncle Jim.

    The Red Cross ladies gave a tea,
    And raised quite a bit. Old Sol MacPhee
    Has sold his house on Lincoln Road--
    He couldn’t carry so big a load.
    The methodist minister’s had a call
    From a wealthy parish near St. Paul.
    And old Herb Sweet is married at last--
    He was forty-two. How the years rush past!

    But here’s an item that makes me see
    What a puzzling riddle life can be.
    “Ed Stokes,” it reads, “was killed in France
    When the Allies made their last advance.”
    Ed Stokes! That boy with the laughing eyes
    As blue as the early-summer skies!
    He wouldn’t have killed a fly--and yet,
    Without a murmur, without a regret,

    He left the peace of our little place,
    And went away with a light in his face;
    For out in the world was a job to do,
    And he wouldn’t come home until it was through!
    Four thousand miles from our tiny town
    And its hardware store, this boy went down.
    Such a quiet lad, such a simple chap--
    But he’s put East Dunkirk on the map!




    No Man’s Land is an eerie sight
    At early dawn in the pale gray light.
    Never a house and never a hedge
    In No Man’s Land from edge to edge,
    And never a living soul walks there
    To taste the fresh of the morning air.
    Only some lumps of rotting clay,
    That were friends or foemen yesterday.

    What are the bounds of No Man’s Land?
    You can see them clearly on either hand,
    A mound of rag-bags gray in the sun,
    Or a furrow of brown where the earthworks run
    From the Eastern hills to the Western sea,
    Through field or forest, o’er river and lea;
    No man may pass them, but aim you well
    And Death rides across on the bullet or shell.

    But No Man’s Land is a goblin sight
    When patrols crawl over at dead o’ night;
    Boche or British, Belgian or French,
    You dice with death when you cross the trench.
    When the “rapid,” like fire-flies in the dark,
    Flits down the parapet spark by spark,
    And you drop for cover to keep your head
    With your face on the breast of the four months’ dead.

    The man who ranges in No Man’s Land
    Is dogged by the shadows on either hand
    When the star-shell’s flare, as it bursts o’erhead,
    Scares the great gray rats that feed on the dead,
    And the bursting bomb or the bayonet-snatch
    May answer the click of your safety-catch.
    For the lone patrol, with his life in his hand,
    Is hunting for blood in No Man’s Land.



     Copyright, 1918, by Edgar A. Guest. Special permission to reproduce
     in this book.

    The star upon their service flag has changed to gleaming gold;
    It speaks no more of hope and life, as once it did of old,
    But splendidly it glistens now for every eye to see
    And softly whispers: “Here lived one who died for liberty.

    “Here once he walked and played and laughed, here oft his smile
        was known;
    Within these walls today are kept the toys he used to own.
    Now I am he who marched away and I am he who fell;
    Of service once I spoke, but now of sacrifice I tell.

    “No richer home in all this land is there than this I grace,
    For here was cradled manhood fine; within this humble place
    A soldier for the truth was born, and here, beside the door,
    A mother sits and grieves for him who shall return no more.

    “Salute me, stranger, as you pass! I mark a soldier who
    Gave up the joys of living here, to dare and die for you!
    This is the home that once he knew, who fought for you and fell;
    This is a shrine of sacrifice, where faith and courage dwell.”


U. A. L.

     From Bert Leston Taylor’s column, “A Line o’ Type or Two,” IN THE

    Bosun’s whistle piping, “Starboard watch is on”
    Sleepy army officer, waked at crack o’ dawn;
    In the forward crow’s nest, watchin’ out for subs;
    If they show a peeper, shoot the bloomin’ tubs.

    Ocean black and shiny, silly little moon;
    Transports fore and aft of us--daylight comin’ soon;
    Sleeping troopers sprawling on the deck below;
    Something in the water makes the spindrift glow.

    In the forward crow’s nest--ah! the day is here!
    Transports and destroyers looming far and near.
    Ours the great adventure--gone is old romance!
    Wake, ye new Crusaders! Look!--the shores of France!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    I have a conversation book; I brought it out from home.
    It tells you the French for knife and fork and likewise brush and comb;
    It learns you how to ask the time, the names of all the stars,
    And how to order oysters and how to buy cigars.

    But there ain’t no stores to buy in; there ain’t no big hotels,
    When you spend your time in dugouts doing a wholesale trade in shells;
    It’s nice to know the proper talk for theatres and such,
    But when it comes to talking, why, it doesn’t help you much.
    There’s all them friendly kind o’ things you’d naturally say
    When you meet a feller casual like and pass the time o’ day.
    Them little things that breaks the ice and kind of clears the air.
    But when you use your French book, why, them things isn’t there.

    I met a chap the other day a-rootin’ in a trench.
    He didn’t know a word of ours, nor me a word of French;
    And how we ever managed, well, I cannot understand,
    But I never used my French book though I had it in my hand.
    I winked at him to start with; he grinned from ear to ear;
    An’ he says, “Bong jour, Sammy,” an’ I says “Souvenir”;
    He took my only cigarette, I took his thin cigar,
    Which set the ball a-rollin’, and so--well, there you are!
    I showed him next my wife and kids; he up and showed me his,
    Them funny little French kids with hair all in a frizz;
    “Annette,” he says, “Louise,” he says, and his tears begin to fall;
    We was comrades when we parted, though we’d hardly spoke at all.

    He’d have kissed me if I’d let him. We had never met before,
    And I’ve never seen the beggar since, for that’s the way of war;
    And though we scarcely spoke a word, I wonder just the same
    If he’ll ever see them kids of his--I never asked his name.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Saint Genevieve, whose sleepless watch
      Saved threatened France of old,
    Above the ship that carries him
      Your sacred vigil hold.

    Where all the fair green fields you loved
      Are scarred with bursting shell,
    Joan, the Maid who fought for France--
      Oh, guard your young knight well.

    But if by sea or if by land
      God set death in his way--
    Then, Mother of the Sacrificed,
      Teach me what prayer to pray!





     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Ho! Heimdal sounds the Gjallar-horn:
    The hosts of Hel rush forth
    And Fenris rages redly
    From his shackles in the North;
    Unleashed is Garm, and Lok is loosed,
    And freed is Giant Rime;
    The Rainbow-bridge is broken
    By the hordes of Muspelheim.
    The wild Valkyries ride the wind
    With spear and clanging shield
    Where all the Hates embattled
    Are met on Vigrid-field;
    For there shall fall the Mighty Ones
    By valiant men adored--
    Great Odin, Tyr the fearless,
    And Frey that sold his sword.
    And Thor shall slay the dragon
    Whose breath shall be his bane.
    The gods themselves shall perish;
    The sons of the gods shall reign!

    Old Time shall sound the boding horn
    Again and yet again,
    To rouse the warring passions
    That swell the hearts of men.
    Revolt shall wake, and Anarchy,
    With all their horrid throng--
    Revenge, Destruction, Rapine,
    The spawn of ancient Wrong,
    With all the hosts of slaughter
    That our own sins must breed--
    Cold Hate, Oppression’s daughter,
    And Rage, the child of Greed.
    Then, though we stand to battle
    As men have ever stood,
    Down, down shall crash our temples,
    The Evil and the Good;
    Yea, all that now we cherish
    Must pass--but not in vain.
    The gods we love shall perish;
    The sons of the gods shall reign!

    So, strong in faith, or weak in doubt,
    Or berserk-mad, we range
    Our spears in that long battle
    Which means not Death, but Change.
    Our highest with our lowest
    Must own the grim behest,
    And Good shall yield for Better--
    Else how should come the Best?
    Yet if we win our portion
    How dare we crave the whole?
    And if we still press forward,
    Why need we know the goal?
    But those whose hearts are constant
    And those whose souls are wise
    Have said that from our ashes
    A nobler race shall rise
    From shreds of shattered altars
    To rear the Perfect Fane.
    Our little gods must perish
    That God Himself shall reign!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    The Kid has gone to the Colors
      And we don’t know what to say;
    The Kid we have loved and cuddled
      Stepped out for the Flag today.
    We thought him a child, a baby,
      With never a care at all,
    But his country called him man-size
      And the Kid has heard the call.

    He paused to watch the recruiting
      Where, fired by the fife and drum,
    He bowed his head to Old Glory
      And thought that it whispered: “Come!”
    The Kid, not being a slacker,
      Stood forth with patriot-joy
    To add his name to the roster--
      And God, we’re proud of the boy!

    The Kid has gone to the Colors;
      It seems but a little while
    Since he drilled a schoolboy army
      In a truly martial style.
    But now he’s a man, a soldier,
      And we lend him listening ear,
    For his heart is a heart all loyal,
      Unscourged by the curse of fear.

    His dad, when he told him, shuddered,
      His mother--God bless her!--cried;
    Yet, blest with a mother-nature,
      She wept with a mother-pride.
    But he whose old shoulders straightened
      Was Granddad--for memory ran
    To years when he, too, a youngster,
      Was changed by the Flag to a man!



     From Mr. Kaufman’s book of poems, “The Hell-Gate of Soissons.” T.
     Fisher Unwin, Publishers (all rights reserved), London, England.
     Special permission to reproduce in this book.

“Just for a word, ‘neutrality’ ... just for a scrap of paper, Great
Britain was going to make war.”--The German Chancellor to the British
Ambassador in Berlin.

    Just for a “scrap of paper,”
    Just for a Nation’s word,
    Just for a clean tradition,
    Just for a treaty slurred;
    Just for a pledge defaulted,
    Just for a dastard blow,
    Just for an ally’s summons,
    Just for a friend struck low;
    Just for the weal of progress,
    Just for a trust held dear,
    Just for the rights of mankind,
    Just for a duty clear;
    Just for a Prussian insult,
    Just for a splendid cause,
    Just for the hope of progress,
    Just for the might of laws;
    Just for the kingdom’s peril,
    Just for a deed of shame,
    Just for defense of honor,
    Just for the British name!




    Poppies in the wheat fields on the pleasant hills of France,
    Reddening in the summer breeze that bids them nod and dance;
    Over them the skylark sings his lilting, liquid tune--
    Poppies in the wheat fields, and all the world in June.

    Poppies in the wheat fields on the road to Monthiers--
    Hark, the spiteful rattle where the masked machine guns play!
    Over them the shrapnel’s song greets the summer morn--
    Poppies in the wheat fields--but, ah, the fields are torn.

    See the stalwart Yankee lads, never ones to blench,
    Poppies in their helmets as they clear the shallow trench,
    Leaping down the furrows with eager, boyish tread
    Through the poppied wheat fields to the flaming woods ahead.

    Poppies in the wheat fields as sinks the summer sun,
    Broken, bruised and trampled--but the bitter day is won;
    Yonder in the woodland where the flashing rifles shine,
    With their poppies in their helmets, the front files hold the line.

    Poppies in the wheat fields; how still beside them lie
    Scattered forms that stir not when the star shells burst on high;
    Gently bending o’er them beneath the moon’s soft glance,
    Poppies of the wheat fields on the ransomed hills of France.




    There’s a rumble an’ a jumble an’ a humpin’ an’ a thud,
    As I wakens from my restless sleep here in my bed o’ mud,
    ’N’ I pull my blankets tighter underneath my shelter fly,
    An’ I listen to the thunder o’ the trucks a-rollin’ by.

    They’re jumpin’ and they’re humpin’ through the inky gloom o’ night,
    ’N’ I wonder how them drivers see without a glim o’ light;
    I c’n hear the clutches roarin’ as they throw the gears in high,
    And the radiators boilin’ as the trucks go rollin’ by.

    There’s some a-draggin’ cannons, you c’n spot the sound all right;
    The rumblin’ ones is heavies, an’ the rattly ones is light;
    The clinkin’ shells is pointin’ up their noses at the sky;
    Oh, you c’n tell what’s passin’ as the trucks go rollin’ by.

    But most of ’em is packin’ loads o’ human Yankee freight
    That’ll slam the ol’ soft pedal ontuh Heinie’s Hymn o’ Hate;
    You c’n hear ’em singin’ “Dixie,” and the “Sweet Bye ’n’ Bye,”
    ’N’ “Where Do We Go From Here, Boys?” as the trucks go rollin’ by.

    Some’s singin’ songs as, when I left, they wasn’t even ripe,
    (A-showin’ ’at they’s rookies wot ain’t got a service stripe);
    But jus’ the same they’re good ol’ Yanks, and that’s the reason why
    I likes the jazz ’n’ barber shop o’ the trucks a-rollin’ by.

    Jus’ God and Gen’rul Pershing knows where these here birds’ll light,
    Where them bumpin’ trucks is bound for under camouflage o’ night,
    When they can’t take aero pitchers with their Fokkers in the sky
    Of our changes o’ location by the trucks a-rollin’ by.

    So, altho’ my bed is puddles an’ I’m soaked through to the hide,
    My heart’s out with them doughboys on their bouncin’, singin’ ride;
    They’re bound for paths o’ glory, or, p’raps, to fight ’n’ die--
    God bless that Yankee cargo in the trucks a-rollin’ by.


L. L. (A. N. Z. A. C.)

     From “The Anzac Book.” Cassell & Co., Ltd., Publishers, London.
     Special permission to reproduce in this book.

     This poem is one of many that were written to commemorate the
     stubborn bravery of the Anzacs, the British soldiers from Australia
     and New Zealand. These indomitables came half way round the globe
     at Britain’s first call. Their first appearance was in Egypt, where
     they drove the German-led Turks back into the desert and saved the
     Suez canal. They were and are officially designated the “Australian
     and New Zealand Army Corps,” a title too long for common use. They
     have won fame and the world’s admiration as the “Anzacs,” a word
     made by running together the first letters of their official title.
     Australia’s own name for her soldier is Bill-Jim. “The Graves of
     Gallipoli” is one of the most noble and tender poems that have come
     to us out of the war.

    The herdman wandering by the lonely rills
    Marks where they lie on the scarred mountain’s flanks,
    Remembering that wild morning when the hills
    Shook to the roar of guns, and those wild ranks
    Surged upward from the sea.

    None tends them. Flowers will come again in spring,
    And the torn hills and those poor mounds be green.
    Some bird that sings in English woods may sing
    To English lads beneath--the wind will keep
    Its ancient lullaby.

    Some flower that blooms beside the southern foam
    May blossom where our dead Australians lie,
    And comfort them with whispers of their home;
    And they will dream, beneath the alien sky,
    Of the Pacific Sea.

    “Thrice happy they who fell beneath the walls,
    Under their father’s eyes,” the Trojan said,
    “Not we who die in exile where who falls
    Must lie in foreign earth.” Alas! our dead
    Lie buried far away.

    Yet where the brave man lies who fell in fight
    For his dear country, there his country is.
    And we will mourn them proudly as of right--
    For meaner deaths be weeping and loud cries:
    They died pro patria!

    Oh, sweet and seemly so to die, indeed,
    In the high flush of youth and strength and pride.
    These are our martyrs, and their blood the seed
    Of nobler futures. ’Twas for us they died.
    Keep we their memory green.

    This be their epitaph. “Traveler, south or west,
    Go, say at home we heard the trumpet call,
    And answered. Now beside the sea we rest.
    Our end was happy if our country thrives:
    Much was demanded. Lo! our store was small--
    That which we had we gave--it was our lives.”



     This poem was chosen by Major General John A. Lejeune, Commandant
     of the United States Marine Corps, as his favorite of all the
     Marine Corps verse written during the war. It is republished here
     by permission of the author and of the publishers, Reilly and Lee,
     who hold the copyright.

    It was thick with Prussian troopers, it was foul with German guns;
    Every tree that cast a shadow was a sheltering place for Huns.
    Death was guarding every roadway, death was watching every field,
    And behind each rise of terrain was a rapid-fire concealed;
    But Uncle Sam’s Marines had orders: “Drive the Boche from where
        they’re hid.
    For the honor of Old Glory, take the woods!” and so they did.

    I fancy none will tell it as the story should be told--
    None will ever do full justice to those Yankee troopers bold.
    How they crawled upon their stomachs through the fields of golden wheat
    With the bullets spitting at them in that awful battle heat.
    It’s a tale too big for writing; it’s beyond the voice or pen,
    But it glows among the splendor of the bravest deeds of men.

    It’s recorded as a battle, but I fancy it will live,
    As the brightest gem of courage human struggles have to give.
    Inch by inch, they crawled to victory toward the flaming mounts of guns;
    Inch by inch, they crawled to grapple with the barricaded Huns;
    On through fields that death was sweeping with a murderous fire,
        they went
    Till the Teuton line was vanquished and the German strength was spent.

    Ebbed and flowed the tides of battle as they’ve seldom done before;
    Slowly, surely, moved the Yankees against all the odds of war.
    For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead,
    The living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead.
    They’d been ordered not to falter, and when night came on they stood
    With Old Glory proudly flying o’er the trees of Belleau Wood.




     Reproduced by special permission of the Proprietors of “Punch”

    She wasn’t much to brag about, she wasn’t much to see,
    A rusty, crusty hooker as a merchant ship could be;
    They sunk her off the Longships light as night was coming on,
    And we had to go and leave her there and, poor old ship, she’s gone.
    All that was good of her, all that was bad of her,
    All that we gave to her, all that we had of her,
                Poor old ship, she’s gone!

    The times we spent aboard her, they was oftener bad than good,
    But bad or good, we’d live the lot all over if we could;
    She’s stood her trick as well as us, she’s had her whack of fun,
    She’s shared it all with sailormen, and poor old ship, she’s done.
    Hard times and soft times and all times we’ve been with her,
    Bad days and good days and all sorts we’ve seen with her,
                And, poor old ship, she’s done!

    She’s stuck her crazy derricks up by half a hundred quays,
    She’s dipped her dingy duster in the spray of all the seas;
    Her funnels caked with Cape Horn ice and blistered in the sun,
    She’s moseyed round above a bit, and, poor old ship, she’s done.
    North seas and south, and they’ve all had a go at her,
    Hot winds and cold, and they’ve all had a blow at her,
                And, poor old ship, she’s done!

    She’s trailed her smudge the whole world round in weather gray and blue,
    She’s churned a dozen oceans with her bloomin’ nine-knot screw;
    She’s sampled all the harbor mud from Cardiff to Canton,
    And she’ll never clear another port, for, poor old ship, she’s gone.
    Ports up and down, and she’s seen many a score of ’em;
    Seas high and low, and she won’t sail no more of ’em,
                For, poor old ship, she’s gone!

    And chaps that knowed her in her time, ’tween London and Rangoon,
    In many a sailor’s drinking-place and water-front saloon,
    Will set their drinks down when they hear her bloomin’ yarn is spun,
    And say, “I sailed aboard her once, and, poor old ship, she’s done.
    Many’s the hard word I once used to spend on her,
    Ah, them was the great days, and now there’s an end on her,
                Poor old ship, she’s done!”




    The Colonel has a job to do
    That’s really hard, and puzzling, too;
    He can’t quite figure what it needs,
    So hands it out to Major Heeds.

    And Major Heeds he thinks it o’er,
    And thinks it o’er and o’er some more,
    And he can’t make it out at all,
    So Captain Jones, he takes a fall.

    The Captain shoves his helmet back,
    And puts his brains all on the rack;
    But “D--n” is all that can be said,
    And then it’s up to First Loot Head.

    O’ course, he “knows,” but hasn’t time--
    The work they shove on him’s a crime;
    This, and then lots more to boot,
    So on it goes to the Second Loot.

    Now Lieutenant Young is just a kid,
    A baby mouth by an eyebrow hid;
    A job like that would knock him cold,
    He hands it down to Top-soak Gold.

    The Top-soak, ’course, is swamped with work;
    It never was his plan to shirk,
    But Sergeant Reed, he’s just the man,
    He’ll sure do it if any can.

    But that old sarge must sleep a lot:
    This biz of overworkin’s rot;
    He gives the Corp’rul loads of gas,
    And so that duffer takes a pass.

    But Corp’ruls don’t know what to do,
    They’re only built for bossing, too;
    So Corp’rul Jenks, he says he’s stuck,
    And hands it on to a common buck.

    And when the job is finished right,
    And all the things are clear as light,
    Why, then, it’s found by all the Fates,
    The job was done by Private Bates.

    An’ it’s passin’ the buck,
    An’ a-passin’ the buck,
      An’ a-passin’ the buck along,
    An’ on with the buck
    With the best o’ luck,
      An’ I hope you come out wrong.



     Permission to reproduce in this book

    When I return, let us be very still;
      No mirth, and but one deep, soul-searching glance,
      Mindful of the unnumbered graves of France,
    Where love lies buried on each trampled hill.



     Reproduced by special permission of the Proprietors of “Punch”

    It was the high midsummer, and the sun was shining strong,
    And the lane was rather flinty, and the lane was rather long,
    When--up and down the gentle hills beside the stripling Test--
    I chanced to come to Bullington and stayed a while to rest.

    It was drowned in peace and quiet, as the river reeds are drowned
    In the water clear as crystal, flowing by with scarce a sound,
    And the air was like a posy with the sweet haymaking smells,
    And the Roses and Sweet Williams and Canterbury Bells.

    Far away as some strange planet seemed the old world’s dust and din,
    And the trout in sun-warmed shallows hardly seemed to stir a fin;
    And there’s never a clock to tell you how the hurrying world goes on
    In the little ivied steeple down in drowsy Bullington.

    Small and sleepy, there it nestled, seeming far from hastening Time,
    As a teeny-tiny village in some quaint old nursery rhyme;
    And a teeny-tiny river by a teeny-tiny weir
    Sang a teeny-tiny ditty that I stayed a while to hear.

    “Oh, the stream runs to the river, and the river to the sea,
    But the reedy banks of Bullington are good enough for me;
    Oh, the lane runs to the highway, and the highway o’er the down,
    But it’s better here in Bullington than there in London town.”

    Then high above an aeroplane in humming flight went by,
    With the droning of its engines filling all the cloudless sky,
    And like the booming of a knell across that perfect day
    There came the gun’s dull thunder from the ranges far away.

    And while I lay and listened, oh, the river’s sleepy tune
    Seemed to change its rippling music, like the cuckoo’s stave in June;
    And the cannon’s distant thunder, and the engines’ warlike drone
    Seemed to mingle with its burthen in a solemn undertone.

    “Oh, the stream runs to the river, and the river to the sea,
    And there’s war on land and water, and there’s work for you and me!
    And on many a field of glory there are gallant lives laid down
    As well for tiny Bullington as mighty London town!”

    So I roused me from my daydream, for I knew the song spoke true
    That it isn’t time for dreaming while there’s duty still to do;
    And I turned into the highway where it meets the flinty lane,
    And the world of wars and sorrows was about me once again.



    ’E’s a sportsman is our Padre,
      Of that there ain’t a doubt.
    ’E don’t chuck religion at yer,
      An’ preach at yer an’ spout;
    An’ if ’e ’ears yer cussin’,
      As yer fillin’ up ther bags,
    ’E jest ses, “Fumigate your throat,”
      An’ ’ands yer out some fags.

    ’E don’t take all fer granted
      That yer murderers an’ thieves,
    An’ always tell yer, now’s ther time
      Fer turnin’ over leaves.
    ’E’ll wander round ther trenches,
      Jest to pass ther time o’ day.
    An’ there ain’t a bloke as doesn’t feel
      A _man_ ’as passed that way.

    I remember once, near Wipers,
      When things was pretty ’ot,
    An’ yer ’ad ter keep yer nut down
      If yer didn’t want it shot;
    While they was fairly plasterin’
      As fast as they could load,
    ’E came ridin’--mark yer, _ridin_--
      All down ther Menin Road.

    ’E was dossin’ in a “staminay,”
      Pyjamas all complete,
    When a ’igh-explosive carried
      ’Arf the ’ouse into the street.
    While other blokes was runnin’ wild,
      An’ kickin’ up a row,
    ’E calmly arsts, “Pray, what is the
      Correct procedure now?”

    They tells ’im as ’e’d better
      Do a bunk for all ’e’s worth,
    As ’is bloomin’ “staminay” is not
      Ther safest spot on earth.
    But ’e ’as a look around ’im,
      An’ wags ’is bally ’ead;
    Ses ’e, “It seems quite restful now,”
      An’ back ’e goes to bed.

    But ’e fairly put ther lid on
      When we made ther last attack:
    If ’is lads was goin’ ter cop it,
      ’E weren’t fer ’angin’ back.
    So ’e ’ops out of ther trenches
      Level with ther foremost ’ound,
    An’ natural like ’e stops one
      An’ gets a little wound.

    ’E’s a sportsman is our Padre,
      Of that there ain’t a doubt.
    ’E don’t chuck religion at yer,
      An’ preach at yer an’ spout.
    Still, ’e’ll show ther way ter ’Eaven--
      That’s if anybody can--
    But we’d follow ’im to ’ell; ’cos why?
      Our Padre ’e’s a man.



    Oh, the General with his epaulets, leadin’ a parade;
    The Colonel and the Adjutant a-sportin’ of their braid;
    The Major and the Skipper--none of ’em look so fine
    As a newly minted corp’ral, comin’ down the line.

    Oh, the Bishop in his miter pacin’ up the aisle;
    The Governor, frock-coated, with a votes-for-women smile;
    The Congressman, the Mayor--aren’t in it, I opine,
    With a newly minted corp’ral comin’ down the line.



     From Mr. Braley’s book, “In Camp and Trench,” published and
     copyright, 1918, by George H. Doran Company, New York. Special
     permission to reproduce in this book.

     “Shavetail” is a name applied by enlisted men in the regular army
     to lieutenants fresh from West Point.

    Twenty years of the army, of drawing a sergeant’s pay
      And helping the West Point shavetails, fresh from the training school,
    To handle a bunch of soldiers and drill ’em the proper way
      (Which isn’t always exactly according to book and rule).
    I’ve seen ’em rise to Captains and Majors and Colonels, too,
      And me still only a sergeant, the same as I used to be,
    And I knew that some of them didn’t know as much as a sergeant knew,
      But I stuck to my daily duty--there wasn’t a growl from me.

    Twenty years of the army,
      Serving in peace and war,
    Standing the drill of the army mill,
      For that’s what they paid me for.

    Twenty years with the army, which wasn’t so much for size,
      But man for man I’d back it to lick any troops on earth.
    ’Twas a proud little classy army, as good as the flag it flies,
      And it takes an old top sergeant to know what the flag is worth.
    Then--a shot at Sarejevo, and hell burst over there
      And the kaiser dragged us in it, and the bill for the draft was passed
    And--they handed me my commission, and some shoulder straps to wear,
      And the crazy dream of my rooky days had changed to a fact at last.

    Twenty years with the army,
      And it’s great to know they call
    On the guys like me for what will be
      The mightiest job of all.

    Twenty years of the army, of doing what shavetails bid,
      And I know I haven’t the polish that fellows like that will show,
    And I hold a high opinion of the brains of a West Point kid,
      But I think I can make him hustle when it comes to the work I know.
    But who cares where we come from, Plattsburg, ranks, or the Guard,
      This isn’t a pink tea-party, but a War to be fought and won;
    There’s a serious job before us, a job that is huge and hard,
    And the social register don’t count until we’ve got it done!

    Twenty years in the army,
      And now I’ve got my chance.
    Have I earned my straps? Well, you watch the chaps
      That I’ve trained for the game in France!



    Flag of our Faith: lead on--
    Across the sand-blown plain,
    The deep and trackless main,
    When duty’s trumpets blow,
    Where frowns the freeman’s foe,
    And right crushed to the sod
    Lifts soul to righteous God.
    Flag of our Faith: lead on--

    Flag of our Hope: lead on--
    When stormy clouds hang low
    And chilling north-winds blow
    And days are long and drear.
    When nights breed grief and fear;
    A rainbow lights the sky
    Whene’er its colors fly.
    Flag of our Hope: lead on--

    Flag of our Love: lead on--
    In loyal hearts supreme,
    Fairer than love’s first dream,
    Our first choice and our last,
    Brightened by every blast.
    Oh, emblem pure and sweet,
    Thou can’st not know defeat.
    Flag of our Love: lead on--

    Flag of our Home: lead on--
    Beneath thy folds we rest,
    We live and love our best,
    The fairest roses blow,
    The richest harvests grow,
    And care-free children play
    And gladden every day.
    Flag of our Home: lead on--


    Flag of our Faith, our Hope, our Love,
    Flag of our Home, wave on above.
    We’ll live, we’ll fight, we’ll die for you--
    Flag Everlasting, Red, White and Blue.



    Here’s to the Blue of the wind-swept North,
      When we meet on the fields of France;
    May the spirit of Grant be with you all
      As the sons of the North advance.

    And here’s to the Gray of the sun-kissed South,
      When we meet on the fields of France;
    May the spirit of Lee be with you all
      As the sons of the South advance.

    And here’s to the Blue and the Gray as one,
      When we meet on the fields of France;
    May the spirit of God be with us all
      As the sons of the Flag advance.




Permission to reproduce in this book

    I hear the throbbing music down the lanes of Afric rain:
    The Afric spring is breaking, down in Senegal again.
    O little town in Senegal, amid the clustered gums,
    Where are your sturdy village lads, who one time danced to drums?
    At Soissons, by a fountain wall, they sang their melodies;
    And some now lie in Flemish fields, beside the northern seas;
    And some tonight are camped and still, along the Marne and Aisne;
    And some are dreaming of the palms that bend in Afric rain.
    The music of the barracks half awakes them from their dream;
    They smile and sink back sleepily along the Flemish stream.
    They dream the baobab’s white buds have opened over-night;
    They dream they see the solemn cranes that bask in morning light:
    I hear the great drums beating in the square across the plain.
    Where are the tillers of the soil, the gallant, loyal train?
    O little town in Senegal, amid the white-bud trees,
    At Soissons, in Picardy, went north the last of these!




Permission to reproduce in this book

     In sending his permission to use this sharp flash of the spirit of
     France, Mr. Dodd wrote: “It may interest you to know that the
     little grimy-fingered girl is real, and that I bought ‘L’Intrans’
     from her every evening for many months during the dark days of last
     spring in Paris.” The spring referred to being that of 1918, when
     the Germans were only a few miles from the city.

    A little grimy-fingered girl
    In stringy black and broken shoes
    Stands where sharp human eddies whirl
    And offers--_news_:
    News from the front. “‘_L’Intransigeant’,
    M’sieu, comme d’ordinaire?_” Her smile
    Is friendly though her face is gaunt;
    There is no guile,
    No mere mechanic flash of teeth,
    No calculating leer of glance ...
    You wear your courage like a wreath,
    Daughter of France.
    Back of old sorrow in tired eyes
    Back of endurance, through the night
    That wearies you and makes you wise,
    I see a light
    Unshaken, proud, that does not pale,
   --And you are nobody, my dear;
    “_Une vraie gamine_,” who does not quail,
    Who knows not fear.
    Rattle your sabers, Lords of Hate,
    Ye shall not force them to their knees!
    A street-girl scorns your God, your State----
    The least of these....

    Place du Théâtre Français,
    Paris, February, 1918.



     By permission of Stewart & Kidd Company, Cincinnati, Publishers of
     “With the Colors,” by Everard Jack Appleton. Copyright, 1917.

    It’s a high-falutin’ title they have handed us;
      It’s very complimentary and grand;
    But a year or so ago they called us “hicks,” you know--
      An’ joshed the farmer and his hired hand!

            Now it’s, “Save the country, Farmer!
              Be a soldier of the soil!
            Show your patriotism, pardner,
              By your never ending toil.”
            So we’re croppin’ more than ever,
              An’ we’re speedin’ up the farm.
            Oh, it’s great to be a soldier--
            A sweatin’ sun-burnt soldier,--
            A soldier in the furrows--
              Away from “war’s alarm!”

            While fightin’ blight and blister,
              We hardly get a chance
            To read about our “comrades”
              A-doin’ things in France.
            To raise the grub to feed ’em
              Is some job, believe me--plus!
            And I ain’t so sure a soldier--
            A shootin’, scrappin’ soldier,
            That’s livin’ close to dyin’--
              Ain’t got the best of us!

            But we’ll harrer and we’ll harvest,
              An’ we’ll meet this new demand
            Like the farmers always meet it--
              The farmers--and the land.
            An’ we hope, when it is over
              An’ this war has gone to seed,
            You will know us soldiers better--
            Th’ sweatin’, reapin’ soldiers,
            Th’ soldiers that have hustled
              To raise th’ grub you need!

    It’s a mighty fine title you have given us,
      A name that sounds too fine to really stick;
    But maybe you’ll forget (when you figure out your debt)
      To call th’ man who works a farm a “hick.”




    Hail, banner of our holy faith,
      Redemption’s sacred sign,
    Sweet emblem thou of heavenly hope
      And of all help divine,
    We bare our heads in reverence
      As o’er us is unfurled
    The standard of the Cross of Christ
      Whose blood redeemed the world.

    Hail, banner of our native land,
      Great ensign of the free,
    We love thy glorious Stars and Stripes,
      Emblem of liberty;
    Lift high the cross, unfurl the flag;
      May they forever stand
    United in our hearts and hopes,
      God and our native land.



     Permission to reproduce in this book

     The 1917 prize of the National Arts Club of New York was awarded to
     Mr. Henderson’s poem. It was chosen out of more than four thousand
     that were submitted.

    Thank God, our liberating lance
    Goes flaming on the way to France!
    To France--the trail the Gurkhas found;
    To France--old England’s rallying-ground!
    To France--the path the Russians strode!
    To France--the Anzacs’ glory road!
    To France--where our Lost Legion ran
    To fight and die for God and man!
    To France--with every race and breed
    That hates Oppression’s brutal creed!

    Ah, France, how could our hearts forget
    The path by which came Lafayette?
    How could the haze of doubt hang low
    Upon the road of Rochambeau?
    How was it that we missed the way
    Brave Joffre leads us along today?
    At last, thank God! At last, we see
    There is no tribal Liberty!
    No beacon lighting just our shores,
    No Freedom guarding but our doors.
    The flame she kindled for our sires
    Burns now in Europe’s battle-fires.
    The soul that led our fathers west
    Turns back to free the world’s opprest.

    Allies, you have not called in vain;
    We share your conflict and your pain.
    “Old Glory,” through new stains and rents,
    Partakes of Freedom’s sacraments.
    Into that hell his will creates
    We drive the foe--his lusts, his hates.
    Last come, we will be last to stay,
    Till Right has had her crowning day.
    Replenish, comrades, from our veins
    The blood the sword of despot drains,
    And make our eager sacrifice
    Part of the freely rendered price
    You pay to lift humanity--
    You pay to make our brothers free.
    See, with what proud hearts we advance
        To France!




     On the capture of the city by the British under General Allenby,
     September 21, 1918.

    Across the sands by Mary’s well
      Along the shores of Galilee,
    The paths are pitted deep with shell
      And drab with marching infantry.

    Perhaps upon the self-same spot
      Where He first lifted up His head,
    In cellar straw and manger cot,
      Now Freedom’s hosts are billeted.

    Then ’twas a life--now myriad death.
    The Allied troops win Nazareth.




    Outside the ancient city’s gate
      Upon Golgotha’s crest
    Three crosses stretched their empty arms,
      Etched dark against the west.
    And blood from nail-pierced hands and feet
      And tortured thorn-crowned head
    And thrust of hatred’s savage spear
      Had stained one dark cross red.
    Emblem of shame and pain and death
      It stood beside the way,
    But sign of love and hope and life
      We lift it high today.

    Where horror grips the stoutest heart,
      Where bursting shells shriek high,
    Where human bodies shrapnel scourged
      By thousands suffering lie;
    Threading the shambles of despair,
      Mid agony and strife,
    Come fleetest messengers who wear
      The crimson cross of life.
    To friend and foe alike they give
      Their strength and healing skill,
    For those who wear the crimson cross
      Must “do the Master’s will.”

    Can we, so safely sheltered here,
      Refuse to do our part?
    When some who wear the crimson cross
      Are giving life and heart
    To succor those who bear our flag,
      Who die that we may live--
    Shall we accept their sacrifice
      And then refuse to give?
    Ah, no! Our debt to God and man
      We can, we will fulfill,
    For we, who wear the crimson cross,
      Must “do the Master’s will.”




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Up among the chimneys tall
      Lay the garret of Pierrot.
    Here came trooping to his call
      Fancies no one else might know;
    Here he bade the spiders spin
    Webs to hide his treasure in.

    Here he heard the night wind croon
      Slumber-songs for sleepyheads;
    Here he spied the spendthrift moon
      Strew her silver on the leads;
    Here he wove a coronet
    Of quaint lyrics for Pierrette.

    But the bugles blew him down
      To the fields with war beset;
    Marched him past the quiet town,
      Past the window of Pierrette;
    Comrade now of sword and lance,
    Pierrot gave his dreams to France.



     After the retreat of the Serbian Army across the mountains of
     Albania in 1915, the survivors who reached the coast were shipped
     to Corfu. Here, and in the neighboring island of Vido, many of them
     died--to begin with, at the rate of hundreds a day. Some of them
     were buried at sea. Others lie in common graves. In the midst of
     the mounds which mark their resting-place, and which vary in size,
     there stands a cross. On it is a Serbian inscription, written by
     the poet, V. Stanimirovic, and translated for the London
     Westminster Gazette by Mr. L. F. Waring:

    Never a Serbian flower shall bloom
    In exile on our far-off tomb.
      Our little ones shall watch in vain:
      Tell them we shall not come again.

    Yet greet for us our fatherland,
    And kiss for us her sacred strand.
      These mounds shall tell the years to be
      Of men who died to make her free.




     Permission to reproduce in this book.

     “Le rossignol n’est pas mobilise.”--A French Soldier

    The nightingales of Flanders,
      They had not gone to war;
    A soldier heard them singing
      Where they had sung before.

    The earth was torn and quaking,
      The sky about to fall;
    The nightingales of Flanders,
      They minded not at all.

    At intervals we heard them
      Between the guns, he said,
    Making a thrilling music
      Above the listening dead.

    Of woodland and of orchard
      And roadside tree bereft,
    The nightingales of Flanders
      Were singing “France is left!”




     Reproduced by special permission of the Proprietors of “Punch”

    My heart is numb with sorrow;
      The long days dawn and wane;
    To me no sweet tomorrow
      Will bring my man again.

    Yet must my grief be hidden--
      Life makes insistent claim,
    And women, anguish-ridden,
      Their rebel hearts must tame.

    For while, my vigil keeping,
      I face the eternal law,
    Here on my breast lies sleeping
      The son he never saw.



     From Amelia Josephine Burr’s book of poems, “The Silver Trumpet.”
     Published and copyright, 1918, by George H. Doran Company, New
     York. Special permission to reproduce in this book.

    They knew they were fighting our war. As the months grew to years
    Their men and their women had watched through their blood and their tears
    For a sign that we knew, we who could not have come to be free
    Without France, long ago. And at last from the threatening sea
    The stars of our strength on the eyes of their weariness rose
    And he stood among them, the sorrow-strong hero we chose
    To carry our flag to the tomb of that Frenchman whose name
    A man of our country could once more pronounce without shame.
    What crown of rich words would he set for all time on this day?
    The past and the future were listening what he would say--
    Only this, from the white-flaming heart of a passion austere,
    Only this--ah, but France understood! “Lafayette, we are here.”



     From Lieutenant Roche’s book of poems, “Rimes in Olive Drab.”
     Robert M. McBride & Company, Publishers, New York. Copyright, 1918.
     Special permission to insert in this book.

     Lieutenant Roche has deftly caught and preserved in words the
     strange vision of unannounced trains that flashed now and then past
     towns and villages bearing American troops from unknown camps to
     unknown ports of embarkation--the flash of faces of men about whom
     it was known only that they came from the shops and fields of home
     and were going across the seas to fight somewhere, for those who
     stood and gazed as they whirled by. The mystery, the roar of
     wheels, the eddying dust and the silence that followed infuse these
     lines with picture and sound that will stay in the minds of any who
     saw such trains go hurrying away.

    Over thousands of miles
    Of shining steel rails,
    Past green and red semaphores
    And unheeding flagmen,
    Trains are running,
    Trains, trains, trains.

    Rattling through tunnels
    And clicking by way stations,
    Curving through hills, past timber,
    Out into the open places,
    Flashing past silos and barns
    And whole villages,
    Until finally they echo
    Against the squat factories
    That line the approach to the cities.

    Trains, trains, trains
    With the fire boxes wide open,
    Giant Moguls and old-time Baldwins
    And oil-burners on the Southern Pacific,
    Fire boxes wide open
    Flaring against the night,
    Like a tremendous watch fire
    Where the sentries cluster at their post.
    Trains, trains, trains
    Serpentine strings of cars
    Loaded with boys and men--
    The legion of the ten-year span
    To whom has been given the task
    Of seeking the Great Adventure.

    Swaying through the North and South,
    And East and West,
    Freighted with the Willing
    And the Unwilling;
    Packed with the Thinking
    And the Unthinking,
    Pushing on to the Unknown
    Away from the shelter and security
    Of the accustomed into the Great Adventure.

    Trains, trains, trains
    With their coach sides scrawled
    With chalked bravado and, sometimes,
    With their windows black
    With yelling boys,
    In open-mouthed exultation
    That they do not feel,
    Rushing farther and farther
    From the known into the unseeable.

    Trains, trains, trains
    With sky-larking boys in khaki,
    Munching sandwiches and drinking pop;
    Or, tired and without their depot swagger,
    Curled up on the red-plush seats;
    Or asleep, with a stranger, in the Pullmans.

    They rush past our camp,
    Which lies against the railroad,
    With the crossing alarm jangling caution,
    And fade into the dust or night.
    Leaving us to conjecture where,
    As they have left others to wonder--
    As they must wonder themselves
    When they are done
    With the shouting and hand-shaking
    And kissing and hat-waving and singing.

    Trains, trains, trains
    Clicking on into unforecast days--
    Away from the shelter and security
    Of the accustomed into the Great Adventure.


L. W.


    We had forgotten You, or very nearly--
    You did not seem to touch us very nearly--
      Of course we thought about You now and then;
    Especially in any time of trouble--
    We knew that You were good in time of trouble--
      But we are very ordinary men.

    And there were always other things to think of--
    There’s lots of things a man has got to think of--
      His work, his home, his pleasure, and his wife;
    And so we only thought of You on Sunday--
    Sometimes, perhaps, not even on a Sunday--
      Because there’s always lots to fill one’s life.

    And, all the while, in the street or lane or byway--
    In country lane, in city street, or byway--
      You walked among us, and we did not see.
    Your feet were bleeding as You walked our pavements--
    How _did_ we miss Your Footprints on our pavements?--
      Can there be other folk as blind as we?

    _Now_ we remember; over here in Flanders--
    (It isn’t strange to think of You in Flanders)--
      This hideous warfare seems to make things clear.
    We never thought about You much in England--
    But now that we are far away from England--
      We have no doubts, we know that You are here.

    You helped us pass the jest along the trenches--
    Where, in cold blood, we waited in the trenches--
      You touched its ribaldry and made it fine.
    You stood beside us in our pain and weakness--
    We’re glad to think You understand our weakness--
      Somehow it seems to help us not to whine.

    We think about You kneeling in the Garden--
    Ah! God! the agony of that dread Garden--
      We know You prayed for us upon the Cross.
    If anything could make us glad to bear it--
    ’Twould be the knowledge that You willed to bear it--
      Pain--death--the uttermost of human loss.

    Though we forgot You--You will not forget us--
    We feel so sure that You will not forget us--
      But stay with us until this dream is past.
    And so we ask for courage, strength, and pardon--
    Especially, I think, we ask for pardon--
      And that You’ll stand beside us to the last.



     By permission of Stewart & Kidd Company, Cincinnati, Publishers of
     “With the Colors,” by Everard Jack Appleton. Copyright, 1918.

            Straight thinking,
            Straight talking,
            Straight doing,
            And a firm belief in the might of right.

            Patience linked with patriotism,
            Justice added to kindliness,
            Uncompromising devotion to this country,
            And active, not passive, Americanism.

            To talk less, to mean more,
            To complain less, to accomplish more,
    And to so live that every one of us is ready to look
    Eternity in the face at any moment, and be unafraid!




     From Edgar A. Guest’s book of war time rhymes, entitled “Over
     Here.” Published and copyright, 1918, by The Reilly & Britton
     Company, Chicago. Special permission to insert in this book.

    “You’ve heard a good deal of the telephone wires,”
      He said as we sat at our ease,
    And talked of the struggle that’s taking men’s lives
      In these terrible days o’er the seas,
    “But I’ve been through the thick of the thing
      And I know when a battle’s begun
    It isn’t the ’phone you depend on for help.
      It’s the legs of a boy who can run.

    “It isn’t because of the ’phone that I’m here.
      Today you are talking to me
    Because of the grit and the pluck of a boy.
      His title was Runner McGee.
    We were up to our dead line an’ fighting alone;
      Some plan had miscarried, I guess,
    And the help we were promised had failed to arrive.
      We were showing all signs of distress.

    “Our curtain of fire was ahead of us still,
      An’ theirs was behind us an’ thick,
    An’ there wasn’t a thing we could do for ourselves--
      The few of us left had to stick.
    You haven’t much chance to get central an’ talk
      On the ’phone to the music of guns;
    Gettin’ word to the chief is a matter right then
      That is up to the fellow who runs.

    “I’d sent four of ’em back with the R. I. P. sign,
      Which means to return if you can,
    But none of ’em got through the curtain of fire;
      My hurry call died with the man.
    Then Runner McGee said he’d try to get through.
      I hated to order the kid
    On his mission of death; thought he’d never get by,
      But somehow or other he did.

    “Yes, he’s dead. Died an hour after bringing us word
      That the chief was aware of our plight,
    An’ for us to hang onto the ditch that we held;
      The reserves would relieve us at night.
    Then we stuck to our trench an’ we stuck to our guns;
      You know how you’ll fight when you know
    That new strength is coming to fill up the gaps.
      There’s heart in the force of your blow.

    “It wasn’t till later I got all the facts.
      They wanted McGee to remain.
    They begged him to stay. He had cheated death once,
      An’ was foolish to try it again.
    ‘R. I. P. are my orders,’ he answered them all,
      ‘An’ back to the boys I must go;
    Four of us died comin’ out with the news.
      It will help them to know that you know.’”



    We often sit upon the porch on sultry August nights,
    When fireflies out upon the lawn are soft enchanted lights
    From Fairyland; when, far away, a vagrant nightingale
    Is sobbing from a bursting heart his tragic untold tale.
    We often sit upon the porch, quite silently, for we
    Are seeing golden wonder-worlds that no one else may see.

    My mother sighs; I feel her hand upon my ruffled hair,
    The while I know she thinks of one, of one who is not there....
    And grandma, with her down-bent head, is dreaming of the day
    When to the strains of “Dixie Land” her sweetheart marched away.
    And brother stares into the dusk, with vivid eyes aflame,
    And hears the stirring call to arms, to battle and to fame!

    My little sister, half asleep, holds tight against her breast
    A battered doll with china eyes that she herself has dressed;
    And baby brother holds my hand, and thinks of cakes and toys
    That grow on trees in some fair land for perfect little boys.
    And auntie holds her head erect, and seems to dare the fates
    With eyes that hold the glowing look of one who hopes and waits.

    We often sit upon the porch on sultry August nights
    When fireflies out upon the lawn are vague enchanted lights,
    And no one speaks, for each one dreams and plans, perhaps, and strays,
    A wanderer through years to come, a ghost through bygone days,
    And as the stars far in the sky come shining softly through,
    My heart and soul are all one prayer--one silver prayer for you.



     From Mr. Owen’s book, “Three Hills and Other Poems.” Sidgwick &
     Jackson, Ltd., Publishers, London, England. Special permission to
     insert in this book.

    There is a hill in England,
      Green fields and a school I know,
    Where the balls fly fast in summer,
      And the whispering elm-trees grow,
          A little hill, a dear hill,
      And the playing fields below.

    There is a hill in Flanders,
      Heaped with a thousand slain,
    Where the shells fly night and noontide
      And the ghosts that died in vain--
          A little hill, a hard hill,
      To the souls that died in pain.

    There is a hill in Jewry,
      Three crosses pierce the sky,
    On the midmost He is dying
      To save all those who die--
          A little hill, a kind hill
      To souls in jeopardy.



     From Lieutenant Roche’s book of poems, “Rimes in Olive Drab.”
     Robert M. McBride & Company, Publishers, New York. Copyright, 1918.
     Special permission to insert in this book.

     “Doughboy” is an old nickname for a United States infantryman. When
     our army went into what is now New Mexico, Arizona and California
     to quiet the Mexicans hostilities that preceded the war of 1846,
     the infantry fell into a way of camping in houses built by the
     natives with sun-dried bricks of adobé mud. The cavalry, having to
     lie in the open with the horses, were joked thereat and came back
     by calling the infantry dobie boys. The name stuck and by an easy
     slide arrived at the present form.

    Mike Dillon was a doughboy
      And wore the issue stuff;
    He wasn’t much to look at--
      In fact, was rather rough;
    He served his time as rookie--
      At drilling in the sun,
    And cleared a lot of timber
      And polished up his gun.

    Mike Dillon was a private
      With all the word entails;
    He cussed and chewed tobacco
      And overlooked his nails.
    You never saw Mike Dillon
      At dances ultra nice;
    In fact, inspection found him
      Enjoying body lice.

    If Mike had married money
      Or had a little drag,
    He might have got a brevet
      And missed a little “fag”;
    But as a social figure
      He simply wasn’t there--
    So Mike continued drilling
      And knifing up his fare.

    In course of time they shipped ’em
      And shipped ’em over where
    A man like Mike can sidestep
      The frigid social stare,
    And do the job of soldier
      Without the fancy frills,
    And keep a steady footing
      In the pace that really kills.

    Now Mike did nothing special;
      He only did his best:
    He stuck and “went on over”--
      And got it in the chest;
    He played it fair and squarely
      Without a social air,
    And Mike is now in heaven
      And at least a corporal there!




    There’s a military band that plays, on Sunday afternoons,
      In a certain nameless city’s quaint old square.
    It can rouse the blood to battle with its patriotic tunes,
      And still render hymns as gentle as a prayer.
    When it starts “Ave Maria” there is no one in the throng
      But would doff his cap, his heart to heaven raise;
    And who would shrink from combat when, with brasses sounding strong,
      There is flung out on the breeze “La Marseillaise”?

    When it starts to render “Sambre et Meuse,” the march that won the day
      At the battle of the Marne, one sees again
    The grey-green hosts of Hundom melt before the stern array
      Of our gallant sister-ally’s blue-clad men.
    And when it plays our Anthem, with rendition bold and clear--
      While the khaki lads stand steady--then we feel
    That, though tongues and ways may vary, we’ve found brothers over here,
      Tried in war, and in allegiance true as steel.

    For it’s olive-drab, horizon-blue, packed closely side by side,
      Till their colors set ablaze the grey old square;
    And it’s olive-drab, horizon-blue, whatever may betide,
      That will blaze the way to victory “up there.”
    So, while standing thus together, let us pledge anew our troth
      To the Cause--the world set free!--for which we fight.
    As the evening twilight gilds the ranks of blue and khaki both,
      And the bugles die away into the night.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    The Old Gang on the Corner! What an arrant tribe they were;
    The Widow Kelly’s Connie--he had always worried her!
    The Schultz boys, Jake and Rudy; the parson’s own, Chub Smith,
    “Who,” sister told the neighbors, “they can’t do nothin’ with.”
    Young Tony Boots, the Dago, and Scamp, the tinner’s son--
    To them a mischief thought of was a mischief quickly done.

    The Old Gang on the Corner! In the arc light’s friendly glow
    They trooped each night till Tim the Cop came by and made them go.
    But all that now is ended, for the Sword of Hate is drawn--
    The Old Gang on the Corner from its happy haunt is gone.
    The street lamp idly sputters; Tim, the lonely, walks his beat,
    His good heart well ahunger for the Old Gang in the street.

    The Old Gang on the Corner! Now each loyal mother brags
    No other neighborhood can boast as many service flags.
    Con Kelly’s won a sergeantcy; the parson’s black-sheep son
    Has had his picture printed for heroic deeds he’s done.
    The Schultz boys, in the navy, though they yet are in their teens,
    Are mates with Scamp and Tony in the chase for submarines.

    The Old Gang on the Corner! Yes, we’ve all forgotten now
    The Hallowe’en they calcimined McDougall’s muley cow,
    We’ve put aside the memories of cream and cake they stole
    When our church had a festival to pay for last year’s coal.
    All that is in the Yesterday--they’re now our fighting men--
    And, God, won’t we be happy if they all come home again?




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Athwart that land of bloss’ming vine
    Stretches the awful battle-line;
    A lark hangs singing in the sky,
    With sullen shrapnel bursting nigh!
    Along the poplar-bordered road
    The peasant trudges with his load,
    While horsemen and artillery
    Rush to red fields that are to be!
    The plains for tillage furrowed well
    Are now replowed with shot and shell!
    The ditches, swollen by the rain,
    Show bloated faces of the slain.
    The hedge-rows sweet with leaf and flower
    Now mask the cannon’s murderous power!
    Small birds by household cares opprest
    Beg truce and time to build their nest.
    The sun sinks down--oh, blest release!
    And the spent world cries out for peace,
    In vain! In vain! Tho’ mild stars shine,
    War wakes the thundering battle-line.




    We never were made to be seen on parade
      When sweethearts and such line the streets;
    When the band starts to blare, look for us--we ain’t there--
      We’re mussing around with the eats.
    It’s fun to step out to the echoing shout
      Of a crowd that forgets how you’re fed,
    While we’re soiling our duds hacking eyes out of spuds--
      You know what Napoleon said.

    When the mess sergeant’s gay, you can bet hell’s to pay
      For the boys who are standing in line;
    When the boys get a square, then the sergeant is there
      With your death warrant ready to sign.
    If you’re long on the grub, then you’re damned for a dub,
      If you’re short, you’re a miser instead,
    But, however you feel, you must get the next meal--
      You know what Napoleon said.

    You think it’s a cinch when you come to the clinch
      For the man who is grinding the meat;
    In the heat of the fight, why the cook’s out of sight
      With plenty of room to retreat.
    But a plump of a shell in a kitchen is hell
      When the roof scatters over your head,
    And you crawl on your knees to pick up the K. P.’s--
      You know what Napoleon said.

    If the war ever ends, we’ll go back to our friends--
      In the army we’ve nary a one;
    We’ll list to the prattle of this or that battle,
      And then, when the story is done,
    We’ll say, when they ask, “Now what was your task,
      And what is the glory you shed?”
    “You see how they thrive--well, we kept ’em alive!
      You know what Napoleon said.”



     “Come to me, and I will give you flesh.”--Old Pibrochadh.

    Says the drum;
      Though graves be hollow,
      Yet follow, follow:
    Says the drum.

    Shrills the fife,
    Is in strife--
    Leave love and wife:
    Says the drum.

    Screams the pipe,
      Is the field--
      Swords and not sickles wield:
    Says the drum.

    The drum
    Says, Come!
      Though graves be hollow,
      Yet follow, follow:
    Says the drum.




    God, the Master Pilot,
      Or gods, if such there be--
    Pour me no weakling’s measure
      When ye pour the wine for me!
    Of pain, of love, of pleasure,
      I’ll drain the draught ye give;
    Of good and ill, give me the fill
      Of the life ye bade me live!

    Spare me no tithe of favor,
      With fortune pave my path,
    Nor hold the hand of vengeance
      When I deserve your wrath.
    Whatever fates ye send me,
      Whatever cast the sky,
    Grant me the grace to live a man
      And as a man to die!

    Upon the good I render
      Let shine your proudest sun:
    And rest me in the valleys
      When my last trick is done.
    For these your utmost portions,
      I’ll pay the utmost toll,
    So this my life, become the great
      Adventure of my soul!


E. M. V.


    On the battlefields of Flanders men have blessed you in their pain;
    For you told us Who was with us, and your words were not in vain.

    All you said was very gentle, but we felt you knew our ways;
    And we tried to find the Footprints we had missed in other days.

    When we found Those blood-stained Footsteps, we have followed to the End;
    For we know that only Death can show the features of our Friend.

    In the Mansions of the Master, He will make the meaning plain
    Of the battlefields of Flanders, of the Crucifix of Pain.




     Permission to reproduce in this book.

    They’ve put us through our paces;
      They say we’re doing fine;
    We’ll soon go to our places
      Upon the firing-line.
    Some chaps will fight for mothers,
      And some for wives so true;
    For sweethearts many others,
       And I will fight for you!

    Through all these months of training
      We’ve cherished hopeful thoughts
    And drilled without complaining,
      Like soldiers and good sports.
    We’re warring for a reason,
      We’ve sworn to see this through;
    To falter would be treason,
      And I will fight for you!

    Your presence will be near me,
      Your voice will call my name;
    You’ll comfort me and cheer me,
      Your love, behold, I claim!
    ’Twould take more than an ocean
      To separate us two;
    I’ll hold unto this notion,
      And I will fight for you!




    By blazing homes, through forests torn
      And blackened harvest fields,
    The grim and drunken god of war
      In frenzied fury reels.

    His breath--the sulph’rous stench of guns--
      That death and famine deals
    And Pity, pleading, wounded falls
      Beneath his steel-shod heels.



    Had a good girl when I
    Mighty good pal when I
    “One! Two! Three! Four!”

    Booked for a wife when I
    That was my life when I
    “One! Two! Three! Four!”




    Summer comes and summer goes,
    Buds the primrose, fades the rose;
      But his footfall on the grass,
    Coming swiftly to my door,
    I shall hear again no more,
      Though a thousand summers pass.

    Once he loved the clovers well,
    Loved the larkspur and bluebell.
      And the scent the plum-blooms yield;
    But strange flowers his soul beguiled,
    Pallid lilies, laurels wild,
      Blooming in a crimson field.

    So he plucked the laurels there,
    And he found them sweet and fair
      In that field of blood-red hue;
    And, when on a summer night
    Moonlight drenched my clovers white,
      Lo! He plucked Death’s lilies, too.

    It may be that e’en to-night,
    In the Gardens of Delight,
      Where his shining soul must dwell,
    He has found some flowers more sweet
    Than the clovers at my feet,
      Some celestial asphodel.

    But while summer comes and goes,
    With the primrose and the rose
      Comes his footfall on the grass--
    Gladly, lightly to my door--
    I shall hear it echo o’er,
      Though a thousand summers pass.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    “Pardon! he has no Engleesh, heem,
      Il ne parle que Française,
    I spik it leetle some Monsieur,
      Vaire bad, j’en suis fâché--
    Marines? Mais oui! I fight wiz zem
      At Château Thierry
    An’ on ze Ourcq an’ Marne in grand
      Bon camaraderie.
    I see zem fight at bois Belleau,
      Like sauvage make ze yell,--
    Sacre nom de Dieu! zoze sailor man
      Eez fightin’ like ze hell!
    All time zey smile when make ze push,
      Magnifique zaire élan,
    Zey show ze heart of lion
      For delight our brav Franchman.
    An’ in ze tranch at rest, zoze troop
      From ze Etats Unis
    Queeck make ze good frien’ of poilu
      Wiz beeg slap on ze knee!
    Zey make ze song an’ joke, si drôle
      An’ pass ze cigarette;
    Zey call us goddam good ol’ scout
      Like Marquis La Fayette.
    Next day, mebbee, again ze taps--
      Ze volley in ze air.--
    Adieu! some fightin’ sailor man
      Eez gone West. C’est la guerre!
    No more ze smile, ze hug, ze hand
      Queeck wiz ze cigarette;
    C’est vrai, at funerall of _heem_
      Ze poilu’s eye eez wet.
    But, every day like tidal wave,--
      Like human avalanche,--
    Ze transport bring more Yankee troop,
      To get ze beeg revanche!
    Zen from ze heart Américaine
      Come milliards of monnaie;
    Eet eez ze end! Your country bring
      Triomphant liberté.
    So, au revoir! I mus’ go on
      But first I tell to you
    What some high Officier remark
      Zat day at bois Belleau.
    He says, our great Napoleon
      Wiz envy would turn green
    Eef he could see zoze sailor man,--
      Zoze Uncle Sam Marines!”




    ’Mid blinding rain this inky night,
      Loud bursting shells each foot of road,
    Thy Light, O Christ, will guide me right,
      To save this gasping, dying load.

    Their shattered limbs have followed Thee;
      Their wounded hands have done Thy work.
    They bled, O Lord, to make men free;
      They fought the fight--they did not shirk.




    My name is Danny Bloomer and my age is eighty-three,
    Years ago I went with Sherman to the ever sunny sea.
    I stood my ground at Gettysburg, that bloody summer day,
    When gallant Pickett rushed the hill and lost his boys in gray;
    And now our starry banner is insulted and defied,
    The kaiser tears it into shreds and glories in his pride;
    Just pass the word across the sea to his stronghold of might,
    And say that Danny Bloomer’s here and not too old to fight.

    I gave my youth to Uncle Sam in years I’ll ne’er forget,
    In mem’ry of those stirring times my old blood tingles yet.
    With four score years upon me I can lift the same old gun,
    And to face our Flag’s insulter will be everlasting fun.
    Please say that Danny Bloomer is ready for the fray,
    Cry “Forward, march!” and see him in the good old ranks today.
    I love the flag of Washington because it stands for Right,
    And that is why I tell you I am not too old to fight.

    ’Tis true I’m somewhat crippled, but I do not care for that,
    I feel as young as when I saw the tilt of Sherman’s hat;
    I want to do my duty again before I die,
    And see Old Glory proudly in the streets of Berlin fly.
    I do not know the kaiser, but I hope within a year
    Amid the roar of cannon he will say, “Old Bloomer’s here!”
    Yes, hand me down a rifle and I will use it right,
    Your Uncle Danny Bloomer isn’t yet too old to fight.
    We’ve borne their insults long enough--they make me long to go.
    I want to squint along my gun and aim it at the foe;
    I’ll eat the same old rations that I ate in ’64,
    And feel the blood of youth again amid the battle’s roar.
    I haven’t long to tarry here until my work is done,
    But I want to show the kaiser we’re not in it for fun;
    So give me marching orders and I’ll disappear from sight,
    For I am Danny Bloomer, and I’m not too old to fight.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    “Come shake hands, my little peach blossom.
    That’s right, dear, climb up on my knee.
    This big Yankee soldier is lonesome--
    Ah, now we’ll be friends, ma chérie.
    We won’t understand one another,
    Your round eyes are telling me so,
    But the cling of your chubby fingers
    Is a language that all daddies know.
    When I caught a sight of your pigtails
    And those eyes of violet blue,
    It made me heart-hungry, ma petite,
    For I’ve a wee girl just like you.
    She lives ’way across the wide ocean,
    Out where the bald eagles nest,
    And she knows all the chipmunks and gophers
    At my shack out in the West.”

    “Tu dis l’ouest! Est-ce ton pays?
    Veux-tu, quand tu iras chez-toi--
    Maman est toujours à pleurer--
    Me retrouver mon soldat Papa?
    Il etait avec sa batterie
    Près des Anglais la, en campagne,
    Mais Papa est allé dans l’ouest,
    Des Anglais disaient à Maman.
    Alors, Maman sera heureuse
    Et, tu vois elle ne pleurera plus;
    Je veux te donner un baiser,--
    Merci! Tu es si bon pour nous!”

    There she goes! She told me her secret,
    Kissed me and then flew away,--
    Say, Poilu! You savez some English,
    Now what did that little tot say?
    “She say Engleeshman tol’ her Mama
    Zat her soldat Papa eez gone West!
    You said West, bien! Zen you live zaire,
    So she make you her leetle request,
    Zat you find heem in your countree
    So her Mama no more she weel cry;
    Zen she thank you an’ kees you, si joyeuse,--
    Pauvre mignonne, she think you weel try!”




    The soldier boys are marching, are marching past my door;
    They’re off to fight for Freedom, to wage and win the war;
    And yet I cannot cheer them, my eyes are full of tears--
    My son, who should be with them, is dead these many years.

    I’ve missed his boyish laughter, I’ve missed his sunny ways,
    I’ve lived alone with sorrow through endless empty days.
    But now my bitter longing dims all the grief before--
    His boyhood friends are marching, without him, past my door.

    I’ve envied happy mothers the children at their knee;
    Their very joys seemed given to mock my grief and me.
    Time healed those wounds, but this one will pain me while I live--
    When Freedom called her warriors, I had no son to give.

    And still the boys are marching, are marching toward the sea,
    To suffer and to conquer, that all men may be free.
    Be glad for them, O mothers! and leave to me the tears--
    My son, who should be with them, is dead these many years.


H. J. M.


    The rivers of France are ten score and twain,
      But five are the names that we know--
    The Marne, the Vesle, the Ourcq, and the Aisne,
      And the Somme of the swampy flow.

    The rivers of France, from source to the sea,
      Are nourished by many a rill,
    But these five, if ever a drought there be,
      The fountains of sorrow would fill.

    The rivers of France shine silvery white,
      But the waters of five are red
    With the richest blood, in the fiercest fight
      For Freedom, that ever was shed.

    The rivers of France sing soft as they run,
      But five have a song of their own,
    That hymns the fall of the arrogant one
      And the proud cast down from his throne.

    The rivers of France all quietly take
      To sleep in the house of their birth,
    But the carnadined wave of five shall break
      On the uttermost strands of Earth.

    Five rivers of France, see their names are writ
      On a banner of crimson and gold,
    And the glory of those who fashioned it
      Shall nevermore cease to be told.




    Standin’ up here on the fire-step,
      Lookin’ ahead in the mist,
    With a tin hat over your ivory
      And a rifle clutched in your fist;
    Waitin’ and watchin’ and wond’rin’
      If the Hun’s comin’ over tonight--
    Say, aren’t the things you think of
      Enough to give you a fright?

    Things you ain’t even thought of
      For a couple o’ months or more;
    Things that ’ull set you laughin’,
      Things that ’ull make you sore;
    Things that you saw in the movies,
      Things that you saw on the street,
    Things that you’re really proud of
      Things that are--not so sweet;

    Debts that are past collectin’,
      Stories you hear and forget,
    Ball games and birthday parties,
      Hours of drill in the wet;
    Headlines, recruitin’ posters,
      Sunset ’way out at sea,
    Evenings of pay-days--golly--
      It’s a queer thing, this memory!

    Faces of pals in Homeburg,
      Voices of womenfolk,
    Verses you learnt in schooldays
      Pop up in the mist and smoke
    As you stand there grippin’ that rifle,
      A-starin’, and chilled to the bone,
    Wonderin’ and wonderin’ and wonderin’,
      Just thinkin’ there--all alone:

    When will the war be over?
      When will the gang break through?
    What will the U. S. look like?
      What will there be to do?
    Where will the Boches be then?
      Who will have married Nell?
    When’s the relief a-comin’ up?--
      Gosh! But this thinkin’s hell!




    The evening star a child espied,
      The one star in the sky.
    “Is that God’s service flag?” he cried,
      And waited for reply.

    The mother paused a moment ere
      She told the little one--
    “Yes, that is why the star is there!
      God gave His only Son!”




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Boy in khaki, boy in blue,
    I am watching over you,
    Going forth amid the rattle
    Of the drums that call to battle.

    Oft have men waged fight for me,
    Fought to make their brothers free;
    God protect and succor you,
    Boy in khaki, boy in blue.

    God go with you on your mission,
    And in His all-wise decision
    Turn this tide of war to you,
    Boy in khaki, boy in blue.

    With the Stars and Stripes high o’er you,
    Snatch the vic’try just before you,
    Heaven keep, encompass you,
    Boy in khaki, boy in blue.

    When the foe is rent asunder,
    And the world looks on in wonder,
    Paying tribute rare to you,
    Boy in khaki, boy in blue,

    God return you safe to me;
    To Columbia--Liberty;
    ’Tis my prayer, my hope for you,
    Boy in khaki, boy in blue.




     Permission to reproduce in this book.

    A German soldier in his journal wrote:

    He was a French Boy Scout--a little lad
    No bigger than my Hansel. He refused
    To tell if any of his countrymen
    Were hidden thereabout. Fifty yards on
    We ran into an ambush. Well, of course
    We shot him--little fool! Poor little fool!
    Thinking himself a hero as he stood
    Facing our guns, so little and so young
    Against the sunny vineyard-green, I thought
    What wasted courage! for the child was brave,
    Fool as he was. The pity ...

                  Here there came
    A sudden shrapnel, and the writing stopped....

    _Did I write that? O God--did I write that?
    Mine--they were mine, the folly and the waste.
    Now the keen edge of death has cut away
    The eyelids of my soul and I must bear
    The perfect understanding of the dead.
    Now that I know myself as I am known,
    How shall my soul endure Eternity?
    God, God, if there be pity left for me,
    Send to my son the child that I despised
    A messenger to burn into his soul
    While still he lives, the truth I died to learn!_




        Through the dark night
        And the fury of battle
      Pass the destroyers in showers of spray.
    As the Wolf-pack to the flank of the cattle,
      We shall close in on them--shadows of gray.
        In from ahead,
        Through shell-flashes red,
      We shall come down to them, after the Day,
        Whistle and crash
        Of salvo and volley
      Round us and into us as we attack
    Light on our target they’ll flash in their folly,
      Splitting our ears with shrapnel-crack.
        Fire as they will,
        We’ll come to them still,
      Roar as they may at us--Back--Go Back!
        White though the sea
        To the shell-splashes foaming,
      We shall be there at the death of the Hun.
    Only we pray for a star in the gloaming
      (Light for torpedoes and none for a gun).
        Lord--of Thy Grace
        Make it a race,
      Over the sea with the night to run.




    “It is long since knighthood was in flower,
    There are no men today who tower
    Above their kind--the knights are dust,
    Their names forgot, their good swords rust,”
    We idly say. And yet, in truth--
    The brave soul has eternal youth,
    Like the great lighthouse rising free,
    Whose far-flung beams guide ships at sea,
    God lifts above his fellow man
    A steadfast soul to dare and plan,
    A king of men, by right divine,
    Who in his forehead bears the sign--
    He walks along the city street;
    Unknowing, in the fields we meet
    A modern knight in whose hand lies
    A mighty Nation’s destinies.

    Then say no more, the knights are gone;
    Honor and Truth and Right live on,
    And men today would keep the bridge
    Horatius kept--from rocky ridge
    Heroic Youth would still fling down
    His horse, himself, to save the town.
              Columbia calls!
    Off with your hats and lift them high,
    Our own, our sons are passing by.




    No bugle is blown, no roll of drums,
    No sound of an army marching.
    No banners wave high, no battle-cry
    Comes from the war-worn fields where they lie,
    The blue sky overarching.
    The call sounds clearer than the bugle call
    From this silent, dreamless army.
    “No cowards were we, when we heard the call,
    For freedom we grudged not to give our all,”
    Is the call from the silent army.

    Hushed and quiet and still they lie,
    This silent, dreamless army,
    While living comrades spring to their side,
    And the bugle-call and the battle-cry
    Are heard as dreamer and dreamless lie
    Under the stars of the arching sky,
    The men who have heard from the men who have died
    The call of the silent army.



    Absolute knowledge I have none,
    But my aunt’s washerwoman’s son
      Heard a policeman on his beat
      Say to a laborer in the street
    That he had a letter just last week,
    Written in the finest Greek,
      From a Chinese coolie in Timbuctoo,
      Who said the niggers in Cuba knew
    Of a colored man in a Texas town
    Who got it straight from a circus clown,
      That a man in Klondike heard the news
      From a gang of South American Jews,
    About somebody in Bamboo
    Who heard a man who claimed he knew
      Of a swell society female rake
      Whose mother-in-law will undertake
    To prove that her husband’s sister’s niece
    Has stated in a printed piece
      That she has a son who has a friend
      Who knows when the war is going to end.


     A poem, anonymous, sent to the Chicago Evening Post by one whose
     son’s regiment was leaving for France.

    My son, at last the fateful day has come
      For us to part. The hours have nearly run.
    May God return you safe to land and home;
      Yet, what God wills, so may His will be done.

    Draw tight the belt about your slender frame;
      Flash blue your eyes! Hold high your proud young head!
    Today you march in Liberty’s fair name,
      To save the line enriched by France’s dead!

    I would not it were otherwise. And yet
      ’Tis hard to speed your marching forth, my son!
    ’Tis doubly hard to live without regret
      For love unsaid, and kindnesses undone.

    But would the chance were mine with you to stand
      Upon those shores and see our flag unfurled!
    To fight on France’s brave, unconquered land
      With Liberty’s great sword for all the world!

    Beyond the waves, my son, the siren calls,
      The sky is black and Fastnet lies abreast;
    A signal rocket flings its stars and falls
      Across the night to welcome England’s guest.

    When mid the scud you see the Cornish lights,
      And through the mist you hear faint Devon chimes,
    Thank God for memories of those other nights
      And days on other ships in happier times.

    Perhaps you’ll stand within the pillared nave
      And aisles where colored sundust falls, and see
    Old Canterbury Church where Becket gave
      His life’s best blood for England’s liberty!

    Some night you’ll walk, perhaps, on Salisbury plain;
      Above Stonehenge the Druid’s stars still sleep,
    And on the turf within the circled fane
      Beneath the autumn moon still lie the sheep.

    And if you march beside some Kentish hedge,
      And blackberries hang thick clustered o’er the ways,
    Pluck down a branch! Rest by the road’s brown edge;
      Eat! Nor forget our last vacation days!

    And then the trench in battle-scarred Lorraine;
      The town half burned but held in spite of hell;
    The bridge twice taken, lost, and won again;
      The cratered glacis ripped with mine and shell.

    The leafless trees, bare-branched in spite of June;
      The sodden road, the desolated plain;
    The mateless birds, the season out of tune;
      Fair France, at bay, is calling through her pain.

    Oh, son! My son! God keep you safe and free--
      Our flag and you! But if the hour must come
    To choose at last ’twixt self and liberty--
      We’ll close our eyes! So let God’s will be done!



     From this author’s “Our Navy at Work,” published by the
     Bobbs-Merrill Co. In 1917, our Government took over a large number
     of pleasure-yachts, fitted them with a few light guns and
     depth-charges and sent them into French waters to hunt submarines.
     They were variously known as “The Suicide Fleet” and “Easter-Eggs.”
     Mr. Kauffman spent some time at sea with them. Permission to
     reproduce in this book.

    Now, Mr. Wall of Wall St., he built himself a yacht,
      And he built that yacht for comfort and for speed;
          He didn’t mean that it should go
          Beyond a hundred miles or so;
          He wanted something made for show,
      Where he could drink and feed.

    Then Uncle Sam’l went to war and hadn’t any boats,
      Or not enough to guard the stormy green,
          And so he said to Mr. Wall:
          “I’ll take your six-feet-over-all
          And set it out to get the call
      Upon the submarine.”

    “A cruising-fighter? Never!” (The experts chorused that.)
      “She’ll sink before she’s half-way out to France”;
          But Sam cut out her bathtubs white,
          He painted her a perfect fright
          And loaded her with dynamite;
      Says he: “I’ll take a chance.”

    “Good-night!” said Wall of Wall St.; the experts said it, too;
      But Uncle Sam was sot and sibylline;
          His little plan, it warn’t a josh:
          Wall’s boat ’s as dry ’s a mackintosh;
          She fights, b’ gum; what’s more, b’ gosh,
      She gits the submarine!




    Thou art no longer here,
    No longer shall we see thy face.
    But, in that other place,
    Where may be heard
    The roar of the world rushing down the wantways of the stars;
    And the silver bars
    Of heaven’s gate
    Shine soft and clear:
    Thou mayest wait.

    No longer shall we see
    Thee walking in the crowded streets,
    But where the ocean of the Future beats
    Against the flood-gates of the Present, swirling to this earth,

    Another birth
    Thou mayest have;
    Another Arcady
    May thee receive.
    Not here thou dost remain,
    Thou art gone far away,
    Where, at the portals of the day,
    The hours ever dance in ring, a silvern-footed throng,

    While time looks on,
    And seraphs stand
    Choiring an endless strain
    On either hand.

    Thou canst return no more;
    Not as the happy time of spring
    Comes after winter burgeoning
    On wood and wold in folds of living green, for thou art dead.

    Our tears we shed
    In vain, for thou
    Dost pace another shore,
    Untroubled now.



    Was there ever a game we did not share,
          Brother of mine?
    Or a day when I did not play you fair,
          Brother of mine?
    “As good as a boy,” you used to say,
    And I was as eager for the fray,
    And as loath to cheat or to run away,
          Brother of mine!

    You are playing the game that is straight and true,
          Brother of mine,
    And I’d give my soul to stand next to you,
          Brother of mine.
    The spirit, indeed, is still the same;
    I would not shrink from the battle’s flame,
    Yet here I stay--at the woman’s game,
          Brother of mine!

    If the last price must needs be paid,
          Brother of mine,
    You will go forward, unafraid,
          Brother of mine.
    Death can so small a part destroy,
    You will have known the fuller joy--
    Ah! would that I had been born a boy,
          Brother of mine!


H. A.


    Gone is the spire that slept for centuries,
    Whose image in the water, calm and low,
    Was mingled with the lilies green and snow,
    And lost itself in river mysteries.
    The church lies broken near the fallen spire;
    For here, among these old and human things
    Death swept along the street with feet of fire,
    And went upon his way with moaning wings.
    Above the cluster of these homes forlorn,
    Where giant fleeces of the shells are rolled,
    O’er pavements by the kneeling herdsmen worn,
    The wounded saints look out to see their fold.

    And silence follows fast, no evening peace,
    But leaden stillness, when the thunder wanes,
    Haunting the slender branches of the trees,
    And settling low upon the listless plains.




     From the French of Armentier Ohanian

     Permission to reproduce in this book

I was an exile from my own country and wandered over the breast of the
world seeking another country.

And I came into a land where there was only a long spring and a long
autumn, where they did not know the deadly heats of our summers or the
mortal colds of our mountains. Among the vines and sunny fields I saw
the people of this land at work, ever young of soul, smiling, loving,
and kindly.

I asked, “What is the name of this happy place?”

And the answer was, “France the voluptuous.”

I came to towns of splendid monuments, of harmonious buildings, of proud
triumphal arches of the past, and above always I saw the spires of great
cathedrals stretching toward the sky, as if to seize upon the feet of

I asked, “What is the name of this marvelous land?”

And the answer was, “France the glorious.”

I advanced again, when I was struck by the red color of a large
river.... It was a river of warm blood that rolled down from afar in
thick and heavy waves. I advanced again. Before me dark clouds of smoke
hid the endless sky above huge fields of warriors in battle; when these
died smiling at death others took their places, singing.

I asked, “What is the name of this chivalrous land?”

And the answer was, “France the courageous.”

At last I came to an immense city, of which I saw neither the beginning
nor the end, a city full of sumptuous palaces, of parks, and fountains.
The sun glistened on the marble of the streets and kissed the serene,
resigned faces of women clothed in black. The chimes of churches filled
the air with solemn sounds, and words, until then unknown to me, “Te
Deum,” came from the throats of thousands of thousands.

With respect I asked, “What is the name of this land that mourns?”

And the answer was, “France the victorious.”

I kissed the earth of this land and said, “I have found my country, who
was an exile.”




    Perched upon an office stool, neatly adding figures,
      With cuffs gone shiny and a pen behind his ear;
    Deep in Liabilities, Goods and Double Entry,
      So he worked from year to year.

    Diligent and careful, hedged about with figures,
      Given soul and body to discount and per cent;
    Bounded by the columns of Purchase Book and Journal,
      Soberly his moments went.

    Now his pen has ceased from adding rows of figures,
      Ceased from ruling ledgers and entering amounts:
    Clad in sodden khaki, with a gun in Flanders
      He is balancing accounts.




     The traditional friendship between the United States and France was
     recemented under the fire of German guns. In France they celebrated
     our Fourth of July; in this country, we celebrated the Fourteenth
     of July, the anniversary of the fall of the Bastile. Yank and Poilu
     are brothers in war, don’t mind the languages. The inextinguishable
     humor of France never showed more quaintly than in that word,
     “Poilu.” It means “unshaven.” More freely, “a man who needs a
     shave.” A whimsical comment upon the French soldier’s way of
     letting his beard grow while he is in the field. Those boys were
     like the English and our own. They smiled at misery. They were good
     old sports, bless ’em!

    You’re a funny fellow, poilu, in your dinky little cap
      And your war worn, faded uniform of blue,
    With your multitude of haversacks abulge from heel to flap
      And your rifle that is most as big as you.
    You were made for love and laughter, for good wine and merry song,
      Now your sunlit world has sadly gone astray,
    And the road today you travel stretches rough and red and long,
      Yet you make it, petit soldat, brave and gay.

    Though you live within the shadow, fagged and hungry half the while,
      And your days and nights are racking in the line,
    There is nothing under heaven that can take away your smile,
      Oh, so wistful, and so patient and so fine.
    You are tender as a woman with the tiny ones who crowd
      To upraise their lips and for your kisses pout,
    Still, we’d hate to have to face you when the bugle’s sounding loud
      And your slim, steel sweetheart Rosalie is out.

    You’re devoted to mustaches which you twirl with such an air
      O’er a cigarette with nigh an inch to run,
    And quite often you are noticed in a beard that’s full of hair,
      But that heart of yours is always twenty-one.
    No, you do not “parlee English,” and you find it very hard,
      For you want to chum with us and words you lack;
    So you pat us on the shoulder and say, “Nous sommes camarades.”
      We are that, my poilu pal, to hell and back!



     Miss Mackellar is the daughter of Sir Charles Mackellar, Chairman
     of the Bank of New South Wales. Acknowledgment is due Dr. George
     Cooke-Adams, formerly an officer in the Australian naval forces,
     through whose courtesy her verses are presented here.

    There are some that go for love of a fight
      And some for love of a land,
    And some for a dream of the world set free
      Which they barely understand.

    A dream of the world set free from Hate--
      But splendidly, one and all,
    Danger they drink as ’twere wine of Life
      And jest as they reel and fall.

    Clean aims, rare faculties, strength and youth,
      They have poured them freely forth
    For the sake of the sun-steeped land they left
      And the far green isle in the north.

    What can we do to be worthy of them,
      Now hearts are breaking for pride?
    Give comfort at least to the wounded men
      And the kin of the man that died.



    Yes, back at home I used to drive a tram;
      And Sammy, there, he was a driver, too--
    He used to ride his racer--did Sir Sam;
      While pokey London streets was all I knew.

    But now, His Nibs and I, of equal rank,
      Are chummy as the paper and the wall,
    Each tooling of a caterpillar tank,
      Each waiting on the blest old bugle call.

    Say! Tanks are sport--when you get used to them,
      They’re like a blooming railroad, self-contained;
    They lay their tracks, as you might say--pro tem,
      And pick ’em up, and there’s good distance gained.

    They roar across rough country like a gale,
      They lean against a house and push it down,
    They’re like a baby fortress under sail,
      And antic as a three-ring circus clown.

    Sam says they’re slow. They may seem so to him--
      They can’t show fancy mile-a-minute stuff,
    But when they charge, in armored fighting trim,
      You bet the Germans find ’em fast enough!

    Now Sam and I are waiting, side by side,
      To steam across yon farm-land in the night;
    We’ll take their blamed barbed wire in our strides
      And stamp a German trench line out of sight.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    “Unfurl the flag of Freedom,
      Fling far the bugle blast!
    There comes a sound of marching
      From out the mighty past.
    Let every peak and valley
      Take up the valiant cry:
    Where, beautiful as morning,
      Our banner cuts the sky.

    Free born to peace and justice,
      We stand to guard and save
    The liberty of manhood,
      The faith our fathers gave.
    Then soar aloft, Old Glory,
      And tell the waiting breeze
    No law but Right and Mercy
      Shall rule the Seven Seas.

    No hate is in our anger,
      No vengeance in our wrath,
    We hold the line of freedom
      Across the tyrant’s path.
    Where’er oppression vaunteth
      We loose the sword once more
    To stay the feet of conquest,
      And pray an end of war.


More than all the others put together, the war poems of Alan Seeger,
Lieutenant Colonel McCrae, and Lieut. Rupert Brooke, have touched and
thrilled the heart of America. They are quiet, earnest, yet more
powerful than trumpet blasts, for they rise triumphant from great
depths, and as they sing, exalt.

Most familiar is our own Alan Seeger’s “I Have a Rendezvous with Death.”
He was studying in Paris when the war broke out. In the third week he
enlisted in the Foreign Legion. Two arduous years later he was called on
higher service. July 4, 1916, his squad was caught in an assault on the
village of Belloy-en-Santerre, where the Germans received them with the
fire of six machine guns. Seeger was severely wounded, but went forward
with the others, and helped take the place. Next morning he died. He had
kept the tryst.

       *       *       *       *       *

Alan Seeger was a New York boy. He was born in that city June 22, 1888.
In his short life he had written some twenty poems. This was his last.
It was written in camp, shortly before his call came:


    I have a rendezvous with Death
    At some disputed barricade
    When Spring comes back with rustling shade
    And apple blossoms fill the air.
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    When Spring brings back blue days and fair
    It may be he shall take my hand
    And lead me into his dark land
    And close my eyes and quench my breath;
    It may be I shall pass him, still,
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    On some scarred slope of battered hill,
    When Spring comes round again this year
    And the first meadow flowers appear.

    God knows ’twere better to be deep
    Pillowed in silk and scented down,
    Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
    Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
    Where hushed awakenings are dear.
    But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
    At midnight in some flaming town,
    When Spring trips north again this year,
    And I to my pledged word am true.
    I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Lieut. Col. John McCrae was a Canadian physician who served in the South
African war as an artilleryman. He was on his way to Canada when the war
began in 1914, and immediately upon landing he entered the Val Cartier
training camp and was commissioned a Captain. Later he joined the McGill
Hospital corps and went with it to France, where he rose to the rank of
Lieutenant Colonel, and died in service, January 28, 1918.

His poem, “In Flanders’ Fields,” was written on the Flanders front in
the Spring of 1915. Its inspiration is thus explained by Sergeant
Charles E. Bisset, of the 19th Battalion, 1st Brigade, Canadian

“On the Flanders front in the early Spring of 1915, when the war had
settled down to trench fighting, two of the most noticeable features of
the field were, first, the luxuriant growth of red poppies appearing
among the graves of the fallen soldiers, and second, that only one
species of bird--the larks--remained on the field during the fighting.
As soon as the cannonading ceased, they would rise in the air, singing.”


    In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place, and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead! Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders’ fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe!
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The Torch. Be yours to hold it high!
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
    In Flanders’ fields.

Rupert Brooke, a brilliant, impassioned young Englishman, was one of the
first to take arms when Great Britain went to war. He died in the
Dardanelles expedition, April 23, 1915. A few days before, he had sent
from the Ægean Sea to the English-speaking peoples the poem by which he
is best known:


    If I should die, think only this of me:
      That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England. There shall be
      In that rich earth a richer dust concealed,
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
      Gave once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
    A body of England’s breathing English air,
      Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
    And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
      A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
      Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
      And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
      In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Lieutenant Brooke was a rare poet, having a serene faith, a knowledge of
life as continuous. His bent of thought, the manner of his feeling,
shine most clearly in this sonnet:


    Not with vain tears, when we’re beyond the sun,
      We’ll beat on the substantial doors, nor tread
      Those dusty highroads of the aimless dead,
    Plaintive for Earth; but rather turn and run
    Down some close-covered byway of the air,
      Some low, sweet alley between wind and wind,
      Stoop under faint gleams, thread the shadows, find
    Some whispering, ghost-forgotten nook, and there
    Spend in pure converse our eternal day;
      Think each in each, immediately wise;
    Learn all we lacked before; hear, know and say
      What this tumultuous body now denies;
    And feel, who have laid our groping hands away;
      And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.

All of Rupert Brooke’s work has been collected and issued, a rich though
slender sheaf. The book is fervently commended to people whose own souls
are in the key that responds to notes so spiritually fine and clear as
those he sounds in all his lines.

       *       *       *       *       *

“But a Short Time to Live” was written by Serg’t Leslie Coulson, whose
“little hour” came to an end at Arras, in France, October 7, 1916:


    Our little hour--how swift it flies--
      When poppies flare and lilies smile;
    How soon the fleeting minute dies,
      Leaving us but a little while
    To dream our dreams, to sing our song,
      To pick the fruit, to pluck the flower.
    The gods--they do not give us long--
      One little hour.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Our little hour--how soon it dies;
      How short a time to tell our beads,
    To chant our feeble litanies,
      To think sweet thoughts, to do good deeds.
    The altar lights grow pale and dim,
      The bells hang silent in the tower--
    So passes with the dying hymn
      Our little hour.

These songs, with others that have lilted so bravely, so gravely,
through the world’s most bitter years of travail, will live long in
literature, with many more as strong or as sweet. Had all the writers
lived, we would have had a wealth of splendid gifts from them,
especially, maybe, from that “poor bird-hearted singer of a day,”
Francis Ledwidge, who fell in battle in Flanders, July 31, 1917.
Ledwidge was discovered by Lord Dunsany, himself a soldier-poet and a
patron of poets. He was lance corporal in Lord Dunsany’s company in the
5th Battalion of the Royal Inniskillen Fusileers. He wrote quite
touchingly to a friend shortly before the end, “I mean to do something
great if I am spared, but out here one may at any moment be hurled out
of life.” There is no doubt he would have done “something great,” for
here is a swan song not unworthy to bear his name to later times:


    Somewhere is music from the linnets’ bills,
      And through the sunny flowers the bee wings drone,
    And white bells of convolvulus on hills
      Of quiet May make silent ringing blown
    Hither and thither by the wind of showers,
      And somewhere all the wandering birds have flown;
    And the brown breath of Autumn chills the flowers.
      But where are all the loves of long ago?

    O little twilight ship blown up the tide,
      Where are the faces laughing in the glow
    Of morning years, the lost ones scattered wide?
      Give me your hand, O brother; let us go
    Crying about the dark for those who died.




    Ribbons of white in the flag of our land,
    Say, shall we live in fear?
    Speak! For I wait for the word from your lips
    Wet with the brine of the sea-going ships;
    Speak! Shall we cringe ’neath an Attila’s whips?
    Speak! For I wait to hear!

    “This is our word,” said the ribbons of white;
    “This is the course to steer--
    Peace is our haven for foul or for fair--
    Won as a maiden and kept as an heir,
    Peace with the sunlight of God on her hair,
    Peace, with an honor clear!”

    Ribbons of red in the flag of our land,
    Bought for a price full dear,
    Speak! For ’tis Man that is asking Man,
    Churl in the centuries’ caravan,
    Speak! For he waits for your bold “I can!”
    Speak! For he waits to hear!

    “This is our word,” said the ribbons of red,
    Slowly, with gaze austere,
    “War if we must in humanity’s name,
    Shielding a sister from sorrow and shame;
    War upon beasts with the sword and with flame!
    War--till the Judge appear!”

    Stars in a field of the sky’s own blue,
    Light of a midnight year,
    Speak! For the spirit of Man awakes,
    Shoulders the cross, and his couch forsakes,
    Whispers a prayer, and the long way takes,
    Speak! For he waits to hear!

    “This is our word,” said a star of white,
    Set in the silken mere,
    “Right against Might on the land, on the sea!
    Little and Great are the same to me!
    Only for Truth and for Liberty
    Strike! For the hour is here!”




     From “Rhymes of a Red Cross Man,” a book of fine poems by Mr.
     Service. Published and copyright, 1916, by Barse & Hopkins, New
     York. Special permission to insert in this book.

        Far and near, high and clear,
        Hark to the call of War!
    Over the gorse and the golden dells,
    Ringing and swinging of clamorous bells,
    Praying and saying of wild farewells:
        War! War! War!

        High and low, all must go:
        Hark to the shout of War!
    Leave to the women the harvest yield;
    Gird ye, men, for the sinister field;
    A sabre instead of a scythe to wield.
        War! Red war!

        Rich and poor, lord and boor,
        Hark to the blast of War!
    Tinker and tailor and millionaire,
    Actor in triumph and priest in prayer,
    Comrades now in the hell out there,
        Sweep to the fire of War!

        Prince and page, sot and sage,
        Hark to the roar of War!
    Poet, professor and circus clown,
    Chimney-sweeper and fop o’ the town,
    Into the pot and be melted down
        Into the pot of War!

        Women all, hear the call,
        The pitiless call of War!
    Look your last on your dearest ones,
    Brothers and husbands, fathers, sons:
    Swift they go to the ravenous guns,
        The gluttonous guns of War!

        Everywhere thrill the air
        The maniac bells of War!
    There will be little of sleeping tonight;
    There will be wailing and weeping tonight;
    Death’s red sickle is reaping tonight:
        War! War! War!




    Down the street, with a lilting swing,
    Each so bright that never a thing
    Seemed to harass, so proud were they;
    One leg gone, but their hearts were gay.

    Clickety clack, went the crutches’ tune.
    God! How can they be brave so soon!
    Brave, when I can not keep back the tears,
    Thinking ahead of the crippled years.

    With a rhythmic swing they passed me by,
    And although, at first, I wanted to cry,
    I didn’t, because on each smiling face
    Was the peace of God and the pride of race.

    And the splendid pair, each with one leg gone,
    Swung out of sight to the crutches’ song.
    And I thought I would give all my future joys
    To feel just like those Canadian boys.

    All night long, like an ancient rune,
    Rang through my dreams the crutches’ tune.
    I shall never forget, though I’m old and gray,
    The song that the crutches sang that day.




    O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
      Above their heads the legions pressing on!
    (These fought their fight in time of bitter fear
      And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

    O flashing muzzles, pause and let them see
      The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar!
    Then let your mighty chorus witness be
      To them, and Cæsar, that we still make war.

    Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call;
      That we have sworn and will not turn aside;
    That we will onward till we win or fall;
      That we will keep the faith for which they died.

    Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
      They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep--
    Shall greet in wonderment the quiet dawn,
      And in content may turn them to their sleep.



     From Mr. Kauffman’s book of poems, “Little Old Belgium.” Henry
     Altemus Company, Publishers, Philadelphia. Copyright, 1914.
     Reproduced in this book by special permission.

At a pillaged hamlet near Termonde, I asked a dying peasant woman into
which of the houses still standing I should assist her--which was her
home? She pressed a withered hand to her bayonet-pierced side and
answered: “The Germans have taken one home from me; but, without knowing
it, they have given me another. I am going there now.”

    My house that I so soon shall own
      Is builded in a silent place,
    Not uncompanioned or alone,
      But shared by almost all my race;
    No landscape from its windows rolls
      A picture of the earth’s increase;
    But, oh, for all our stricken souls,
      Within its sturdy walls is--Peace.

    The other house I used to love
      Before they burnt it overhead;
    My slaughtered man; the memory of
      Our daughter screaming in the red
    Embrace of Uhlans at my door,
      Her shrieks all silenced by their shout
    Of drunken fury--that was war,
      And my new home will shut it out.

    I shall not see the German hands
      That tear the baby from the breast;
    I shall not hear the plundering bands
      Laughing at murder: I shall rest.
    There Joy shall never riot in
      Nor robber sorrow find his way;
    Those shutters bar the call of Sin,
      And Duty has no debt to pay.

    So much I shall be heedless of,
      Serene, secure, dispassionate;
    _There_ is not anything to love;
      _There_ is not anything to hate.
    So in my house I shall forget
      All of the orgies and the strife,
    And find, past memory and regret,
      The Resurrection and the Life.




    Against the shabby house I pass each day
    (The town is strange, and all so new to see)
    Pink hollyhocks made friendly sport of me,
    With nod and smile and endless courtesy
    Enlive the lonely sameness of my way.
    Slim little maids in rosy morning frocks,
    They make a splash of color on the gray--
    The sun so bright--a pity not to play,
    But this old world is sadly work-a-day,
    And I must hasten on, my hollyhocks!

    I like to think that somewhere, overseas,
    Perhaps in some neglected garden place,
    Shy flowers from home lean out with wayward grace--
    Blue iris and the valley lilies’ lace--
    Reminding them of happier times than these, ...
    Of happy times that are so soon to be,
    When they come marching home to us--our men--
    The world’s work done, the land made clean again!




    Down toward the deep-blue water, marching to throb of drum,
    From city street and country lane the lines of khaki come;
    The rumbling guns, the sturdy tread, are full of grim appeal,
    While rays of western sunshine flash back from burnished steel.
    With eager eyes and cheeks aflame the serried ranks advance;
    And your dear lad, and my dear lad, are on their way to France.

    A sob clings choking in the throat, as file on file sweep by,
    Between those cheering multitudes, to where the great ships lie;
    The batteries halt, the columns wheel, to clear-toned bugle-call.
    With shoulders squared and faces front they stand a khaki wall.
    Tears shine on every watcher’s cheek, love speaks in every glance;
    For your dear lad, and my dear lad, are on their way to France.

    Before them, through a mist of years, in soldier buff or blue,
    Brave comrades from a thousand fields watch now in proud review;
    The same old Flag, the same old Faith,--the Freedom of the World--
    Spells Duty in those flapping folds above long ranks unfurled.
    Strong are the hearts which bear along Democracy’s advance,
    As your dear lad, and my dear lad, go on their way to France.

    The word rings out; a million feet tramp forward on the road,
    Along that path of sacrifice o’er which their fathers strode.
    With eager eyes and cheeks aflame, with cheers on smiling lips,
    These fighting men of ’17 move onward to their ships.
    Nor even love may hold them back, nor halt that stern advance,
    As your dear lad, and my dear lad, go on their way to France.



    I’ve heard a half a dozen times
      Folks call it Reims.
    That isn’t right, though, so it seems,
      Perhaps it’s Reims.
    Poor city ruined now by flames--
      Can it be Reims?--
    That once was one of France’s gems--
      More likely Reims.
    I’ll get it right sometime, perchance;
      I’m told it’s Reims.




     From “The Spires of Oxford and Other Poems,” by Winifred M. Letts,
     published and copyright, 1917, by E. P. Dutton & Company, New York.
     Special permission to reproduce in this book.

    I saw the spires of Oxford
    As I was passing by,
    The gray spires of Oxford
    Against a pearl-gray sky.
    My heart was with the Oxford men
    Who went abroad to die.

    The years go fast in Oxford,
    The golden years and gay,
    The hoary colleges look down
    On careless boys at play.
    But when the bugles sounded--War!
    They put their games away.

    They left the peaceful river,
    The cricket field, the quad,
    The shaven lawns of Oxford
    To seek a bloody sod--
    They gave their merry youth away
    For country and for God.

    God rest you, happy gentlemen,
    Who laid your good lives down,
    Who took the khaki and the gun
    Instead of cap and gown.
    God bring you to a fairer place
    Than even Oxford town.




    The sunny streets of Oxford
      Are lying still and bare.
    No sound of voice or laughter
      Rings through the golden air;
    And, chiming from her belfry,
      No longer Christchurch calls
    The eager, boyish faces
      To gather in her halls.

    The colleges are empty.
      Only the sun and wind
    Make merry in the places
      The lads have left behind.
    But, when the trooping shadows
      Have put the day to flight,
    The Gentlemen of Oxford
      Come homing through the night.

    From France they come, and Flanders,
      From Mons, and Marne and Aisne.
    From Greece and from Gallipoli
      They come to her again;
    From the North Sea’s grey waters,
      From many a grave unknown,
    The Gentlemen of Oxford
      Come back to claim their own.

    The dark is full of laughter,
      Boy laughter, glad and young.
    They tell the old-time stories,
      The old-time songs are sung;
    They linger in her cloisters,
      They throng her dewy meads,
    Till Isis hears their calling
      And laughs among her reeds.

    But, when the east is whitening
      To greet the rising sun,
    And slowly, over Carfax,
      The stars fade, one by one,
    Then, when the dawn-wind whispers
      Along the Isis shore,
    The Gentlemen of Oxford
      Must seek their graves once more.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    One star for all she had,
      And in her heart
    One wound--yet is she glad
      For all its smart
    As they are glad who bear
      The pangs of birth
    That a new soul and fair
      May come to earth,
    Seeing she, too, was one
      Who from Death’s strife
    Granted her first-born son
      Proudly to Life.
    Now with that very faith
      Life justified,
    She grants a son to Death
      With the same pride.




    Still breaks the Holy morn, to soothe the care
      And labor of the world; hushed is the grove,
      And overhead the vireo’s note of love
    Floats like a joyful utterance of prayer.
    Soft insect murmurs fill the enchanted air.
      Into a fairer day earth seems to move,
      And statelier thoughts lift mortal sense above
    Life’s sin and pain; the sorrow and despair.
    But hark! where now the noonday beams are shed
      In sorrowing Europe, trembles a sound
      Of thunder, and the land with dews of blood
    Is drenched; while o’er the dying and the dead
    Fate turns to weep o’er every pleading wound--
      Can earth o’ercome the evil with the good?

    But yesterday two monarchs, held in check
      Like bloodhounds in the leash, broke forth before
      The eyes of Christendom, and in the roar
    Of lurid conflict heard not the wild shriek
    Of outraged millions--now again the wreck
      Of crushed humanity must strew death’s shore
      With ghastly ruin crying evermore,
    “Shame! Wretch of mortal form and vulture’s beak--
    To ask God’s aid and Christ’s! O, hour of woe!
      Cover, O night of ages, the dread birth
      Of man’s Imperial hate! Let kings go down
    That peoples may aspire and live and own
    A holier stature, and this crimsoned earth
    Drink the pure light of Freedom’s afterglow!”

     Sunday in August, 1914



     Copyright, 1918, by Edgar A. Guest. Special permission to reproduce
     in this book.

    I wonder what the trees will say,
    The trees that used to share his play,
    An’ knew him as the little lad
    Who used to wander with his dad.
    They’ve watched him grow from year to year
    Since first the good Lord sent him here;
    This shag-bark hick’ry, many a time,
    The little fellow tried t’ climb;
    An’ never a spring has come but he
    Has called upon his favorite tree.
    I wonder what they all will say
    When they are told he’s marched away.

    I wonder what the birds will say,
    The swallow an’ the chatterin’ jay,
    The robin an’ the kildeer, too.
    For every one o’ them he knew,
    An’ every one o’ them knew him,
    Waited each spring t’ tell him all
    They’d done and seen since ’way last fall.
    He was the first to greet ’em here
    An’ hoppin’ there from limb t’ limb,
    As they returned from year t’ year;
    An’ now I wonder what they’ll say
    When they are told he’s marched away.

    I wonder how the roses there
    Will get along without his care,
    An’ how the lilac bush will face
    The loneliness about th’ place,
    For ev’ry spring an’ summer he
    Has been the chum o’ plant an’ tree,
    An’ every livin’ thing has known
    A comradeship that’s finer grown
    By havin’ him from year t’ year.
    Now very soon they’ll all be here,
    An’ I’m wonderin’ what they’ll say
    When they find out he’s marched away.




    Let us praise God for the Dead: the Dead who died in our cause.
    They went forth a little army: all its men were as true as steel.
    The hordes of the enemy were hurled against them: they fell back, but
        their hearts failed not.
    They went forward again and held their ground: though their foes were
        as five to one.
    They gave time for our host to muster: the most of the men who never
        thought to fight.
    A great host and a mighty: worthy of the men who died to gain them time.
    Let us praise God for these men: let us remember them before Him all
        our days.
    Let us care for the widows and orphans: and for the men who came
        home maimed.
    Truly God has been with us: these things were not done without His help.
    O Lord our God, be Thou still our helper: make us worthy of
        those who died.


P. H. B. L.


    In this last hour, before the bugles blare
    The summons of the dawn, we turn again
    To you, dear country, you whom unaware,
    Through summer years of idle selfishness,
    We still have loved--who loved us none the less,
    Knowing the destined hour would find us men.

    O thrill and laughter of the busy town!
    O flower valleys, trees against the skies,
    Wild moor and woodland, glade and sweeping down,
    O land of our desire! like men asleep
    We have let pass the years, nor felt you creep
    So close into our hearts’ dear sanctities.

    So, we are dreamers; but our dreams are cast
    Henceforward in a more heroic mold;
    We have kept faith with our immortal past.
    Knights--we have found the lady of our love;
    Minstrels--have heard great harmonies above
    The lyrics that enraptured us of old.

    The dawn’s aglow with luster of the sun
    O love, O burning passion, that has made
    Our day illustrious till its hours are done--
    Fire our dull hearts, that, in our sun’s eclipse,
    When Death stoops low to kiss us on the lips,
    He still may find us singing, unafraid.

    One thing we know, that love so greatly spent
    Dies not when lovers die: From hand to hand
    We pass the torch and perish--well content,
    If in dark years to come our countrymen
    Feel the divine flame leap in them again,
    And so remember us and understand.


British soldiers in France have developed a terminology that is plain to
them, but confusing to civilians. They speak of “Blighty,” for example,
and of “Gone West.” These two terms express hopes--Blighty meaning home;
in common acceptance, home for rest and recuperation. “Gone West” means
gone from the east with its conflict to the refuge of death, where peace
waits in the glory of sunset.

“Blighty” is of Hindu origin. British officers in South Africa who had
served in India used the word, which is an Anglicized form of the Indian
word “vilayti,” meaning European. Englishmen being about the only
Europeans the natives knew, its application narrowed down to England
only; and the army fell into a way of using it as a synonym of home.
When the troops from India came into action early in the war, their
wounded were sent to the nearest English great hospital, at Brighton,
just across the channel. The consonance of Brighton and vilayti or
Blighty was so close that these men used their own word as a matter of
course, and in this way it floated into general use.

It has acquired a new sense of late. Casualties intermediate to those
too severe for removal and those that can be treated in field hospitals,
are sent to England--to Blighty--and are themselves called Blighty,
meaning wounds that get a man home. Lieut. Siegfried Sassoon has woven
the idea into a plaintively whimsical bit of verse which he calls


    He woke: the clank and racket of the train
    Kept time with angry throbbings in his brain,
    At last he lifted his bewildered eyes
    And blinked, and rolled them sidelong; hills and skies.
    Heavily wooded, hot with August haze,
    And, slipping backward, golden for his gaze,
            Acres of harvest.

    Feebly now he drags
    Exhausted ego back from glooms and quags
    And blasting tumult, terror, hurtling glare,
    To calm and brightness, havens of sweet air.

    He sighed, confused; then drew a cautious breath;
    This level journeying was no ride through death.
    “If I were dead,” he mused, “there’d be no thinking--
    Only some plunging underworld of sinking,
    And hueless, shifting welter where I’d drown.”
    Then he remembered that his name was Brown.

    But was he back in Blighty? Slow he turned,
    Till in his heart thanksgiving leaped and burned.
    There shone the blue serene, the prosperous land,
    Trees, cows and hedges; skipping these he scanned,
    Large, friendly names that change not with the year,
    Lung Tonic, Mustard, Liver Pills and Beer.

Hugh Pendexter, in Adventure Magazine, says “going west,” as used by the
men overseas to mean death, is of peculiarly American origin. The Karok
Indians of California believed the spirit of the good Karok went to the
“happy western land.” The Cherokee myths picture the west as the “ghost
country,” the twilight land where go the dead. The Shawnee tell of the
boy who “traveled west” to find his sister in the spirit land. The
Chippewa believes the spirit “followed a wide, beaten path toward the
west.” The spirit world of the Fox Indians is at the setting of the
sun. And so on, in the theology of many Indian nations we find the West
as the storied abode of the great majority--who have passed over.

       *       *       *       *       *

The phrase traces back to the Œdipus Tyrannus of Sophocles:

            Toward the Western shore
    Soul after soul is known to take her flight.

Its later significance is tenderly sung by Eleanor Jewett in The Chicago


    West to the hills, the long, long trail that strikes
    Straight and away into the sunset’s glow,
    Ribbed by the narrow barriers of Death--
    Dark are the waters that beside it flow.
    The red flowers fade upon the fields of France,
    The soaring larks are fallen to their nest.
    The glare of battle soothes a little space....
    As they go west....


F.M.H.D., F.A.


    It’s Spring at home; I know the signs--
    The buds are bursting on the vines,
    The birds speed high with happier wings,
    The heart of youth is glad, and sings.

    It’s Spring in France; I know the signs--
    The massed reserves behind the lines;
    The heart of youth burgeons once more
    To manhood, and resurgent war!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    “You see that young kid lying there
    Playing a game of solitaire?
    All shot to pieces in the air;
    By Heck, Sarge, he’s a wonder.
    The gamest kid I ever met;
    They’re probing him for bullets yet,
    But s--sh; here comes his nurse Yvette--
    Kept _him_ from going under.

    You think she’s passing by him? Nit!
    D’you get that smile? He waves his mitt;
    I think he’s stuck on her a bit,
    Can’t blame him for that matter,
    She watches him just like a hawk.
    Now listen to their daily talk.
    She’s all Paree, he’s all New York;
    Sit quiet, hear their chatter.”

    “Pardonnez-moi, désirez-vous----”
    “Oh, fine and dandy! How are you?”
    “Quelque chose? Comprenez-vous?----”
    “Ah, now I know you’re kiddin’.”
    “Vous avez bonne mine aujourd’hui----”
    “It’s high time you were nice to me.”
    “Time? Je comprends, il est midi----”
    “Bright eyes, I think I’m skiddin’.”

    “Je crois que je vous donnerai----”
    I’ll back up anything you say----”
    “Un petit morceau de poulet----”
    “You fascinating creature!”
    “Avec le crême, dans la coquille,----”
    “Rats! There she goes! I always feel
    Some blessy’s S. O. S. appeal
    Will call off my French teacher.”

    The Sarge here nudged my splintered ribs;
    “Well, I’ll be damned! Here comes His Nibs!”
    And down the aisle stalked General Gibbs
    With all the famous aces.
    They formed around the sick boy’s bed,
    He gasped, saluted, then turned red:
    “Looks like I’m pinched!” was all he said,
    Scanning their smiling faces.

    “So,” spoke the General, “you alone
    Brought down three Taubes on your own!
    Another Yankee Ace is known
    To everyone in Blighty.
    I’m proud to know you,--put it there,--
    And now we’re going to let you wear
    This gallantly won Croix de Guerre
    I’m pinning on your nighty.”




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    They shall not pass,
    While Britain’s sons draw breath,
      While strength is theirs to strike with shining sword.
    They shall not pass,
    Except they pass to Death--
      For British fighting men have pledged their word.

    They shall not pass--
    For France knows no defeat,
      Nor hesitates to nobly pay the price.
    They shall not pass
    Till brave hearts cease to beat,
      And none shall stand to fall in sacrifice.

    They shall not pass--
    America will stand
      As long as lips can answer her, “I come.”
    They shall not pass,
    To strike the lovéd land,
      That freedom’s children rise to call their home.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

     “Not a light visible. Not a man above the deck.”--From a
     correspondent’s description.

    Hail and farewell,
      Ships that pass to the sea!
    Hail and a long farewell,
      Soldiers of destiny!

    Not with rolling of drums,
      Not with music and songs,
    Not with laughter and weeping,
      Or cheering of passionate throngs;

    But silently, as is fitting,
      Gray ghosts passing from sight;
    Great ships like sea-gulls flitting
      Against the curtain of night.




    Who was it, picked from civil life
    And plunged in deadly, frenzied strife
    Against a devil’s dreadful might?
      Just plain “John Doe--Buck Private.”

    Who jumped the counter for the trench,
    And left fair shores for all the stench
    And mud, and death, and bloody drench?
      Your simple, plain “Buck Private.”

    Who, when his nerves were on the hop,
    With courage scaled the bloody top?
    Who was it made the Fritzies stop?
      “J. Doe (no stripes), Buck Private.”

    Who, underneath his training tan
    Is, every single inch, a man!
    And, best of all, American?
      “John Doe, just plain Buck Private.”

    Who saw his job and did it well?
    Who smiles so bland--yet fights like hell?
    Who rang again old Freedom’s bell?
      ’Twas only “Doe--Buck Private.”

    Who was it lunged, and struck, and tore
    His bayonet deep in flesh and gore?
    Who was it helped to win the war?
      “John Doe (no brains), Buck Private.”

    Who, heeding not the laurel pile
    That scheming other men beguile,
    Stands modestly aside the while?
      “John Doe (God’s kind), Buck Private.”


     The Boston Transcript reprinted the following poem in 1917, just as
     it appeared in that paper November 27, 1861.

    Click, click! how the needles go
    Through the busy fingers, to and fro--
    With no bright colors of berlin wool,
    Delicate hands today are full:
    Only a yarn of deep, dull blue,
    Socks for the feet of the brave and true.
    Yet click, click, how the needles go,
    ’Tis a power within that nerves them so.
    In the sunny hours of the bright spring day,
    And still in the night time far away.
    Maiden, mother, grandame sit
    Earnest and thoughtful while they knit.
    Many the silent prayers they pray,
    Many the tear drops brushed away.
    While busy on the needles go,
    Widen and narrow, heel and toe.
    The grandame thinks with a thrill of pride
    How her mother knit and spun beside
    For that patriot band in olden days
    Who died the Stars and Stripes to raise--
    Now she in turn knits for the brave
    Who’d die that glorious flag to save.
    She is glad, she says, “the boys” have gone,
    ’Tis just as their grandfathers would have done.
    But she heaves a sigh and the tears will start,
    For “the boys” were the pride of grandame’s heart.
    The mother’s look is calm and high,
    God only hears her soul’s deep cry--
    In Freedom’s name, at Freedom’s call,
    She gave her sons--in them her all.
    The maiden’s cheek wears a paler shade,
    But the light in her eyes is undismayed.
    Faith and hope give strength to her sight,
    She sees a red dawn after the night.
    Oh, soldiers brave, will it brighten the day,
    And shorten the march on the weary way,
    To know that at home the loving and true
    Are knitting and hoping and praying for you?
    Soft are the voices when speaking your name,
    Proud are their glories when hearing your fame.
    And the gladdest hour in their lives will be
    When they greet you after the victory.




    Some day the fields of Flanders shall bloom in peace again,
    Field lilies and the clover spread where once was crimson stain,
    And a new, cheerful golden spray shine through the sun and rain.

    The clover’s for the English who sleep beneath that sod,
    The lily’s for the noble French whose spirits rest with God,
    But where our sacred dead shall sleep must bloom the goldenrod.

    For every flower of summer those meadows will have room,
    And yet I think no Flemish hand will touch the kaiser-bloom,
    Whose growing blue must evermore whisper of grief and doom.

    But clover for the English shall blossom from the sod,
    And glorious lilies for the French whose spirits rest with God.
    And where our own lads lie asleep the prairie goldenrod.

    Once more the Flemish children shall laugh through Flemish lanes,
    And gather happy garlands through fields of bygone pains,
    And, as they run and cull their flowers, sing in their simple strains:

    “These clovers are for English who fought to save this sod,
    These lilies for the valiant French--may their souls rest in God!
    And for the brave Americans we pluck this goldenrod.”




    The magpies in Picardy
      Are more than I can tell.
    They flicker down the dusty roads
      And cast a magic spell
    On the men who march through Picardy,
      Through Picardy to hell.

    (The blackbird flies with panic,
      The swallow goes like light,
    The finches move like ladies,
      The owl floats by at night;
    But the great and flashing magpie
      He flies as artists might.)

    A magpie in Picardy
      Told me secret things--
    Of the music in white feathers,
      And the sunlight that sings
    And dances in deep shadows--
      He told me with his wings.

    (The hawk is cruel and rigid,
      He watches from a height;
    The rook is slow and somber,
      The robin loves to fight;
    But the great and flashing magpie
      He flies as lovers might.)

    He told me that in Picardy,
      An age ago or more,
    While all his fathers still were eggs,
      These dusty highways bore
    Brown, singing soldiers marching out
      Through Picardy to war.

    He said that still through chaos
      Works on the ancient plan,
    And that two things have altered not
      Since first the world began--
    The beauty of the wild green earth
      And the bravery of man.

    (For the sparrow flies unthinking
      And quarrels in his flight.
    The heron trails his legs behind,
      The lark goes out of sight;
    But the great and flashing magpie
      He flies as poets might.)




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Leave me alone here, proudly, with my dead,
      Ye mothers of brave sons adventurous;
    He who once prayed: “If it be possible
      Let this cup pass,” will arbitrate for us.
    Your boy with iron nerves and careless smile
      Marched gaily by and dreamed of glory’s goal;
    Mine had blanched cheek, straight mouth and close-gripped hands
      And prayed that somehow he might save his soul.
    I do not grudge your ribbon or your cross,
      The price of these my soldier, too, has paid;
    I hug a prouder knowledge to my heart,
      The mother of the boy who was afraid!

    He was a tender child with nerves so keen
      They doubled pain and magnified the sad;
    He hated cruelty and things obscene
      And in all high and holy things was glad.
    And so he gave what others could not give,
      The one supremest sacrifice he made,
    A thing your brave boy could not understand;
      He gave his all because he was afraid!




    The sick man said: “I pray I shall not die
    Before this tumult which now rocks the earth
    Shall cease. I dread far journeyings to God
    Ere I have heard the final shots of war,
    And learned the outcome of this holocaust.”

    Yet one night, while the guns still roared and flashed,
    His spirit left his body; left the earth
    Which he had loved in sad, disastrous days,
    And sped to heav’n amid the glittering stars
    And the white splendor of the quiet moon.

    One instant--and a hundred years rushed by!
    And he, a new immortal, found his way
    Among the great celestial hills of God.
    Then suddenly one memory of earth
    Flashed like a meteor’s flame across his mind.

    One instant--and another hundred years!
    And even the dream of that poor little place
    Which he had known was lost in greater spheres
    Through which he whirled; and old remembrances
    Were but as flecks of dust blown down the night;
    And nothing mattered, save that suns and moons
    Swung in the ether for unnumbered worlds
    High, high above the pebble of the earth.



     From Mr. Kaufman’s book of poems, “The Hell Gate of Soissons.” T.
     Fisher Unwin, Publisher’s (all rights reserved), London, England.
     Special permission to reproduce in this book.

    Hear the guns, hear the guns!
    High above the splutter-sputter
    Of the Maxim, and the stutter
    Of the rifles, hear them shrieking.
    See the searching shells come sneaking,
    Softly speaking,
    Slyly seeking,
    Thirsting, bursting, shrapnel-leaking
    Where the ranks are thickest--tearing
    Mighty gaps among the daring.
    Charging horse and rider stumble,
    And brigades fall in a jumble;
    Earthworks crumble,
    Standards tumble,
    And the driving bayonets fumble,
    But unsated,
    Still the hated
    Cannon thunder, unabated.
    Hear them rumble,
    Hear them grumble,
    Hear the old song of the guns!
    “Send your sons,
    Send your sons,
    All your near ones,
    All your dear ones;
    Give us food!
    Give us food!
    Give the strongest of your brood.
    Let us feed!
    Let us feed!
    On the bravest that you breed.
    Give us meat,
    Give us meat,
    Oh, the blood of Valor’s sweet!”

    And the women make reply:
    Ah, the glory of the lie--
    “Look, no tear is in our eye.
    Rather would we see you die
    For your country, than stand by.
    Rather would we boast to tell
    To your children that you fell,
    Than to have you lurk and sell
    Honor for a coward’s breath;
    Better far the soldier’s death.
    Go and battle for the land.
    Make a stand!
    Make a stand!
    Go and join the dauntless band.
    Take a hand!
    Take a hand!
    Count not us--God will provide!”

    Thus the women in their pride
    Mask their hearts--their anguish hide.
    Thus the mother and the bride
    Bid their men to march and ride
    To the guns,
    Hungry guns,
    Rumbling, grumbling for their sons.
    Thus the women ever give,
    Give their nearest, dearest ones
    At the summons of the guns.

    What is war to men--they _die_.
    But the widowed women, aye,
    To the end alone, must _live_.



G. E. R.


    They dug no grave for our soldier lad, who fought and who died out there:
    Bugle and drum for him were dumb, and the padre said no prayer;
    The passing bell gave never a peal to warn that a soul was fled,
    And we laid him not in the quiet spot where cluster his kin that
        are dead.

    But I hear a foot on the pathway, above the low hum of the hive,
    That at edge of dark, with the song of the lark, tells that the
        world is alive:
    The master starts on his errand, his tread is heavy and slow,
    Yet he cannot choose but tell the news--the bees have a right to know.

    Bound by the ties of a happier day, they are one with us now in
        our worst;
    On the very morn that my boy was born they were told the tidings
        the first:
    With what pride they will hear of the end he made, and the ordeal
        that he trod--
    Of the scream of shell, and the venom of hell, and the flame of
        the sword of God.

    Wise little heralds, tell of my boy; in your golden tabard coats
    Tell the bank where he slept, and the stream he leapt, where the
        spangled lily floats:
    The tree he climbed shall lift her head, and the torrent he swam
        shall thrill,
    And the tempest that bore his shouts before shall cry his message still.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Austrian heir-apparent,
    Rideth through the Shadow Land, not a lone knight errant,
    But captain of a mighty train, millions upon millions,
    Armies of the battle slain, hordes of dim civilians;

    German ghosts who see their works with tortured eyes, the sorry
    Spectres of sacred tyrants, Turks hunted by their quarry,
    Liars, plotters red of hand--like waves of poisonous gases,
    Sweeping through the Shadow Land the host of horror passes;

    Spirits bright as broken blades drawn for truth and honor,
    Sons of Belgium, pallid maids, martyrs who have won her
    Love eternal, bleeding breasts of the French defiance,
    Russians on enraptured quests, Freedom’s proud alliance.

    Through that hollow hush of doom, vast, unvisioned regions,
    Led by Kitchener of Khartum, march the English legions:
    Kilt and shamrock, maple leaf, dreaming Hindu faces,
    Brows of glory, eyes of grief, arms of lost embraces.

    Like a moaning tide of woe, midst those pale battalions
    From the Danube and the Po, Arabs and Australians,
    Pours a ghastly multitude that breaks the heart of pity,
    Wreckage of some shell-bestrewed waste that was a city;
    Flocking from the murderous seas, from the famished lowland,
    From the blazing villages of Serbia and Poland,
    Woman phantoms, baby wraiths, trampled by war’s blindness,
    Horses, dogs, that put their faiths in human loving kindness.

    Tamburlane, Napoleon, envious Alexander
    Peer in wonder at the wan, tragical commander,
    Archduke Francis Ferdinand--when shall his train be ended?--
    Of all the lords of Shadow Land most royally attended!



     By permission: From Scribner’s Magazine, copyright, 1916, by
     Charles Scribner’s Sons.

    Franceline rose in the dawning gray,
    And her heart would dance though she knelt to pray,
    For her man Michel had holiday,
          Fighting for France.

    She offered her prayer by the cradle-side,
    And with baby palms folded in hers she cried:
    “If I have but one prayer, dear, crucified
          Christ--save France!

    “But if I have two, then, by Mary’s grace,
    Carry me safe to the meeting place,
    Let me look once again on my dear love’s face,
          Save him for France!”

    She crooned to her boy: “Oh, how glad he’ll be,
    Little three-months old, to set eyes on thee!
    For ‘Rather than gold, would I give,’ wrote he,
          ‘A son to France.’

    “Come, now, be good, little stray _sauterelle_,
    For we’re going by-by to thy papa Michel,
    But I’ll not say where for fear thou wilt tell,
          Little pigeon of France!

    “Six days’ leave and a year between!
    But what would you have? In six days clean,
    Heaven was made,” said Franceline,
          “Heaven and France.”

    She came to the town of the nameless name,
    To the marching troops in the street she came,
    And she held high her boy like a taper flame
            Burning for France.

    Fresh from the trenches and gray with grime,
    Silent they march like a pantomime;
    “But what need of music? My heart beats time--
            Vive la France!”

    His regiment comes. Oh, then where is he?
    “There is dust in my eyes, for I cannot see,--
    Is that my Michel to the right of thee,
            Soldier of France?”

    Then out of the ranks a comrade fell--
    “Yesterday--’twas a splinter of shell--
    And he whispered thy name, did poor Michel,
            Dying for France.”

    The tread of the troops on the pavement throbbed
    Like a woman’s heart of its last joy robbed,
    As she lifted her boy to the flag, and sobbed
            “Vive la France!”



    I enlisted in the infantry last summer;
      I was greeted at the training camp with joy;
    I had hardly gotten settled, when a sergeant
      Told me I was now the Company’s errand boy.
    Now, I knew I’d have to start in at the bottom,
      And acquire my army training bit by bit;
    But to be assigned to duties quite so humble,
      Was humiliating, surely you’ll admit.

    My first errand was a trip to Field Headquarters.
      It was raining and the mud was deep and thick.
    I was ordered to seek out the Major General,
      And procure a requisition for a brick.
    ’Twas explained to me, before I left my Company,
      That our Captain suffered much with chilly feet,
    And that bricks, when rightly heated, would correct this.
      What that Major General said, I’ll not repeat.

    To our surly Regimental Quartermaster,
      I was sent to get the Company’s Sunday hats,
    And my Sergeant said, “to save myself some walking,”
      I could “also get the First Lieutenant’s spats”;
    When I told that sour Quartermaster’s seageant
      What it was I’d like to have for Company A,
    Gosh, he “bawled me out,” said “Your ears should be longer,
      And your rations should be changed from beans to hay.”

    For a thousand feet of skirmish line I hunted
      For a half a day, before I saw the joke;
    Next they sent me for a left-hand canvas stretcher,
      To repair the Mess-hall windows, which were broke.
    As the Company Street was slightly rough and bumpy,
      They dispatched me for a double-jointed plow;
    And one breakfast-time they sent me to the Colonel,
      With a pail, to milk the Regimental cow.

    Then one day the Sergeant said, “You’ve been promoted.
      You’re now morning call-boy for the Regiment,
    And each morning, bright and early, you will sprinkle
      Drops of water on each face, in every tent.”
    In the morning I began my sprinkling duties,
      And had sprinkled in about one dozen tents,
    When a bunch of fellows rushed me to the hydrant,
      Where they “soused” me good; since then I’ve had some sense.

    As I look back at the time I “ran the paddles,”
      After having set me down in water wet;
    Rushing down between two rows of husky messmates,
      With my arms above my head, I feel it yet.
    Now, I’ve graduated from the rookie section,
      And the “awkward squad” will miss me in its ranks,
    And I’m happy, for a bunch of bloomin’ rookies
      Have arrived. To those that sent them, Many Thanks.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    I tried to be a doughboy, but they said my feet were flat
      And I’d surely never stand the awful strain.
    No chance to even argue that I’d like to bet my hat
      I could out walk any tar-heel in the train.
    “Awful sorry, but it’s useless,” was the doctor’s mournful wail.
      “Your eyesight quite unfits you for the guns.”
    Uselessly I tried to tell him that at dropping leaden hail
      I could surely decimate a pack of Huns.

    Then I hoped for aviation, for my nerve is still in place,
      But there wasn’t even half a chance for that.
    A stocky young lieutenant said, “You’ll never hold the pace,
      For you’ve got a jumpy eyebrow.” Think o’ that!

    So they went and made me captain in the Quartermaster Corps,
      Where I juggle lists of beans the livelong day.
    Trying hard to grin and bear it as the boys march off to war
      While I sit and figure up their blasted pay.




     From Vachel Lindsay’s book entitled “The Congo and Other Poems,”
     published and copyright, 1914, by The Macmillan Company, New York.
     Special permission to insert in this book.

    It is portentous, and a thing of state,
    That here at midnight, in our little town
    A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,
    Near the old court house pacing up and down.

    Or by his homestead, or in shadowed yards
    He lingers where his children used to play,
    Or through the market, on the well-worn stones
    He stalks until the dawn-stars burn away.

    A bronzed, lank man! His suit of ancient black,
    A famous high-top hat and plain worn shawl
    Make him the quaint great figure that men love,
    The prairie lawyer, master of us all.

    He cannot sleep upon his hillside now.
    He is among us;--as in times before!
    And we who toss and lie awake for long
    Breathe deep, and start, to see him pass the door.

    His head is bowed. He thinks on men and kings.
    Yea, when the sick world cries, how can he sleep?
    Too many peasants fight, they know not why,
    Too many homesteads in black terror weep.

    The sins of all the war-lords burn his heart.
    He sees the dreadnaughts scouring every main.
    He carries on his shawl-wrapped shoulders now
    The bitterness, the folly and the pain.

    He cannot rest until a spirit-dawn
    Shall come;--the shining hope of Europe free;
    The League of sober folk, the Workers’ Earth
    Bringing long peace to Cornland, Alp and Sea.

    It breaks his heart that kings must murder still,
    That all his hours of travail here for men
    Seem yet in vain. And who will bring white peace
    That he may sleep upon his hill again?




    The Kings are dying! In blood and flame
      Their sun is setting to rise no more!
    They have played too long at the ancient game
      Of their bluer blood and the bolted door.

    Now the blood of their betters is on their hands--
      The blood of the peasant, the child, the maid;
    And there are no waters in all the lands
      Can bathe them clean of the dark stain laid.

    They have sinned in malice and craven fear--
      For the sake of their tinsel have led us on
    To the hate-built trench and the death-drop sheer,
      But the day will come when the Kings are gone.

    The Kings are dying! Beat, O drums,
      The world-wide roll of the democrat!
    O bugles, cry out for the day that comes
      When the Kings that were shall be marveled at!



     From “Rhymes of a Red Cross Man,” by Robert W. Service, published
     and copyright, 1916, by Barse & Hopkins, New York. Special
     permission to reproduce in this book.

    Oh ye whose hearts are resonant, and ring to War’s romance,
    Hear ye the story of a boy, a peasant boy of France;
    A lad uncouth and warped with toil, yet who, when trial came,
    Could feel within his soul upleap and soar, the sacred flame;
    Could stand upright, and scorn and smite, as only heroes may:
    Oh, harken! Let me try to tell the tale of Jean Desprez.

    With fire and sword the Teuton horde was ravaging the land,
    And there was darkness and despair, grim death on every hand;
    Red fields of slaughter sloping down to ruin’s black abyss;
    The wolves of war ran evil-fanged, and little did they miss.
    And on they came with fear and flame, to burn and loot and slay,
    Until they reached the red-roofed croft, the home of Jean Desprez.

    “Rout out of the village, one and all!” the Uhlan Captain said.
    “Behold! Some hand has fired a shot. My trumpeter is dead.
    Now shall they Prussian vengeance know; now shall they rue the day,
    For by this sacred German slain, ten of these dogs shall pay.”

    They drove the cowering peasants forth, women and babes and men,
    And from the last, with many a jeer, the Captain chose the ten;
    Ten simple peasants, bowed with toil; they stood, they knew not why
    Against the grey wall of the church, hearing their children cry;
    Hearing their wives and mothers wail, with faces dazed they stood.
    A moment only.... _Ready! Fire!_ They weltered in their blood.

    But there was one who gazed unseen, who heard the frenzied cries,
    Who saw these men in sabots fall before their children’s eyes;
    A Zouave wounded in a ditch, and knowing death was nigh,
    He laughed with joy: “Ah! here is where I settle ere I die.”
    He clutched his rifle once again, and long he aimed and well....
    A shot! Beside his victims ten the Uhlan Captain fell.

    They dragged the wounded Zouave out; their rage was like a flame.
    With bayonets they pinned him down, until their Major came.
    A blond, full-blooded man he was, and arrogant of eye.
    He stared to see with shattered skull his favorite Captain lie.
    “Nay, do not finish him so quick, this foreign swine,” he cried;
    “Go nail him to the big church door: he shall be crucified.”

    With bayonets through hands and feet they nailed the Zouave there,
    And there was anguish in his eyes, and horror in his stare;
    “Water! A single drop!” he moaned; but how they jeered at him,
    And mocked him with an empty cup, and saw his sight grow dim;
    And as in agony of death with blood his lips were wet,
    The Prussian Major gaily laughed, and lit a cigarette.

    But ’mid the white-faced villagers who cowered in horror by,
    Was one who saw the woeful sight, who heard the woeful cry:
    “Water! One little drop, I beg! For love of Christ who died....”
    It was the little Jean Desprez who turned and stole aside;
    It was the little barefoot boy who came with cup abrim
    And walked up to the dying man, and gave the drink to him.

    A roar of rage! They seize the boy; they tear him fast away.
    The Prussian Major swings around; no longer is he gay.
    His teeth are wolfishly agleam; his face all dark with spite:
    “Go, shoot the brat,” he snarls, “that dare defy our Prussian might.
    Yet stay! I have another thought. I’ll kindly be, and spare.
    Quick! give the lad a rifle charged, and set him squarely there,
    And bid him shoot, and shoot to kill. Haste! Make him understand
    The dying dog he fain would save shall perish by his hand.
    And all his kindred they shall see, and all shall curse his name,
    Who bought his life at such a cost, the price of death and shame.”

    They brought the boy, wild-eyed with fear; they made him understand;
    They stood him by the dying man, a rifle in his hand.
    “Make haste!” said they; “the time is short, and you must kill or die.”
    The Major puffed his cigarette, amusement in his eye.
    And then the dying Zouave heard, and raised his weary head:
    “Shoot, son, ’twill be the best for both; shoot swift and
       straight,” he said.
    “Fire first and last, and do not flinch; for lost to hope am I;
    And I will murmur: Vive la France! and bless you ere I die.”

    Half-blind with blows the boy stood there; he seemed to swoon and sway;
    Then in that moment woke the soul of little Jean Desprez.
    He saw the woods go sheening down; the larks were singing clear;
    And oh! the scents and sounds of spring, how sweet they were! how dear!
    He felt the scent of new-mown hay, a soft breeze fanned his brow;
    O God! the paths of peace and toil! How precious were they now!

    The summer days and summer ways, how bright with hope and bliss!
    The autumn such a dream of gold; and all must end in this:
    This shining rifle in his hand, that shambles all around;
    The Zouave there with dying glare; the blood upon the ground;
    The brutal faces round him ringed, the evil eyes aflame;
    That Prussian bully standing by as if he watched a game.
    “Make haste and shoot,” the Major sneered; a minute more I give;
    A minute more to kill your friend, if you yourself would live.”

    They only saw a barefoot boy, with blanched and twitching face;
    They did not see within his eyes the glory of his race;
    The glory of a million men who for fair France have died,
    The splendor of self-sacrifice that will not be denied.
    Yet he was but a peasant lad, and oh! but life was sweet.
    “Your minute’s nearly gone, my lad,” he heard a voice repeat.
    “Shoot! Shoot!” the dying Zouave moaned; “Shoot! Shoot!” the
        soldier said.
    Then Jean Desprez reached out and shot ... _the Prussian Major dead_!




     Found in the pocket of Capt. T. P. C. Wilson, a British officer,
     killed in action.

    Suddenly one day
    The last ill shall fall away.
    The last little beastliness that is in our blood
    Shall drop from us as the sheath drops from the bud,
    And the great spirit of man shall struggle through
    And spread huge branches underneath the blue.
    In any mirror, be it bright or dim,
    Man will see God, staring back at him.




    The old flag is a-doin’ her very level best,
    She’s a rainbow roun’ the country from the rosy east to the west;
    An’ the eagle’s in the elements with sunshine on his breast,
    An’ we’re marchin’ with the country in the mornin’!

    We’re marchin’ to the music that is ringin’ far and nigh;
    You can hear the hallelujahs as the regiments go by;
    We’ll live for this old country, or for freedom’s cause we’ll die--
    We’re marchin’ with the country in the mornin’!



     From Mr. Guest’s book of war time rhymes, “Over Here.” Published
     and copyright, 1918, by The Reilly & Britton Company, Publishers,
     Chicago. Special permission to reproduce in this book.

    “Do your bit!” How cheap and trite
    Seems that phrase in such a fight!
    “Do your bit!” That cry recall,
    Change it now to “Do your all!”
    Do your all, and then do more;
    Do what you’re best fitted for;
    Do your utmost, do and give.
    You have but one life to live.

    Do your finest, do your best,
    Don’t let up and stop to rest,
    Don’t sit back and idly say,
    “I did something yesterday.”
    Come on! Here’s another hour.
    Give it all you have of power.
    Here’s another day that needs
    Everybody’s share of deeds.

    “Do your bit!” of course, but then
    Do it time and time again;
    Giving, doing, all should be
    Up to full capacity.
    Now’s no time to pick and choose.
    We’ve a war we must not lose.
    Be your duty great or small,
    Do it well and do it all.

    Do by careful, patient living,
    Do by cheerful, open giving;
    Do by serving day by day
    At whatever post you may;
    Do by sacrificing pleasure,
    Do by scorning hours of leisure.
    Now to God and country give
    Every minute that you live.




    Float thou majestically,
    Proudly, triumphantly,
    Ever protectingly,
    Flag of the free.
    No foe our faith shall blight
    In thy unconquered might,
    Emblem of truth and right,
    We bow to thee.

    As in grim days of yore--
    Now on a hostile shore,
    Fulfill thy pledge once more,
    Red, white and blue.
    Long as thy stately bars
    And heaven’s reflected stars
    Dishonor never mars,
    We will be true.

    Prove to the waiting world,
    When free men are assailed,
    Our standard is unfurled
    For justice still.
    Strengthen us lest we fall,
    Inspiring one and all,
    Urging thy righteous call,
    Under God’s will.




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    Dear little flag in the window there,
    Hung with a tear and a woman’s prayer;
    Child of Old Glory, born with a star--
    Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!

    Blue is your star in its field of white,
    Dipped in the red that was born of fight;
    Born of the blood that our forbears shed
    To raise your mother, the Flag, o’erhead.

    And now you’ve come, in this frenzied day,
    To speak from a window--to speak and say
    “I am the voice of a soldier-son
    Gone to be gone till the victory’s won.

    “I am the flag of the Service, sir;
    The flag of his mother--I speak for her
    Who stands by my window and waits and fears,
    But hides from the others her unwept tears.

    “I am the flag of the wives who wait
    For the safe return of a martial mate,
    A mate gone forth where the war god thrives
    To save from sacrifice other men’s wives.

    “I am the flag of the sweethearts true;
    The often unthought of--the sisters, too;
    I am the flag of a mother’s son
    And won’t come down till the victory’s won!”

    Dear little flag in the window there,
    Hung with a tear and a woman’s prayer;
    Child of Old Glory, born with a star--
    Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!




     In this piece of work Mr. Runyon presents a good specimen of a
     large class, a young fellow who was going the trifling way to the
     Everlasting Bonfire when the war caught him up and made a man of
     him. Thousands of such cases, before the war little better than
     waste human material, went out to fight, and found themselves, and
     made good, and came home sobered, serious men, worthy to stand
     among those to whom the nation’s destinies were confided.

    Son o’ ol’ Miz McAuliffe, the widder o’ Box-Car Jack,
    An’ ol’ time shack on the Santa Fe, who run to Dodge and back.
    He was killed in a wreck at La Junta, and he left the wife and boy--
    A kid knee-high to a hop-toad, and tagged by the name o’ Roy.

    This Roy was sort o’ onery, and he never would go to school.
    He spent the most o’ childhood days in learnin’ the game o’ pool.
    His shoulders grew somewhat rounded, and his chest it grew rather thin--
    But, gosh, he grew to a marvel at knockin’ them pool balls in!

    Pool-shootin’ Roy, we called him, and many a night I’ve set
    Watchin’ him clean the table, and puffin’ his cigaret.
    Sleeves rolled up to the elbow, and playin’ so ca’m and cool--
    If ever a lad was born for a thing, he was born for playin’ this pool!

    Fifteen balls was a cinch for him--fifteen balls from the break;
    One ball loose from the bunch a bit, and the whole darned rack he’d take.
    He was great on a combination, and great on a cut-shot, too--
    He’d make those pool balls talk to him when he started handlin’ a cue!

    And some of us thought he’d be champeen, but every one didn’t agree,
    For Doctor Wilcox wanted to bet he’d die of the old T. B.
    But the war it settled the question, for the first of our kids to go
    Was Pool-Shootin’ Roy McAuliffe--our poolrooms suffered a blow.

    _What is that thing the Frenchmen give to a good game fightin’ boy?
    Say it again--the Croix de Guerre? Well, that’s what they give to Roy.
    It seems fifteen Germans were on him, and handlin’ him rather mean,
    When he got a machine gun to workin’ and pocketed the whole fifteen!_




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    She stands alone beside the gate,
      Where oft with him she stood before,
    And seems to hear his voice relate
      Life’s sweetest story o’er and o’er;
    A hand she feels upon her own,
      Unconsciously a tender glance
    She gives, then starts and stands alone,
      The lover sleeps--Somewhere in France.

    She could have kept him if she would--
      His heart and soul were all her own--
    But true love knew and understood
      That Honor is its own true throne;
    She heard the bugles’ blaring sound
      And whispered--“Go and take your chance.”
    There ’mid the scenes of war he found
      Eternal peace--Somewhere in France.

    She knows not where that spot may be--
      On barren plain, in hidden dell,
    On wooded hill, beside the sea--
      The lips that would will never tell;
    She knows not what his last words were,
      The thoughts that come with Death’s advance,
    And yet, she feels they were of her,
      Those last fond thoughts--Somewhere in France.




    Say, pa! What is a service flag?
      I see them everywhere.
    There’s little stars sewed on them;
      What are they doing there?
    Sometimes there’s lots of little stars,
      And sometimes just a few.
    Poor Widow Jones has only one--
      I saw her crying, too.

    My darling boy, those little stars
      Upon a field of white,
    Are emblems of our glorious boys
      Enrolling for the right.
    The border, as you see, is red,
      Which represents their blood;
    The stars are blue, the heavenly hue;
      The white is always good.

    Each star you see means some brave boy
      Has left his hearth and home
    And gone to fight for Freedom’s cause
      Wherever he may roam.
    So when you see a lot of stars
      Lift up your heart with joy,
    And when you see a single one
      Pray for some mother’s boy.

    They go away, those gallant lads,
      Across the wreck-strewn sea;
    They go to pledge their country’s faith
      For God and liberty.

    The Stars and Stripes they bear aloft
      To join the British flag,
    And, with the colors of brave France,
      They mean to end “Der Tag.”
    And soon, my boy, that service flag,
      Born in the nation’s heart,
    Will show the world that, when unfurled,
      We proudly take our part.


Poems need not be rhymed, nor wrought in verses. This brave and touching
one occurred in a letter written by a French schoolgirl:

     “It was only a little river; almost a brook; it was called the
     Yser. One could talk from one side to the other without raising
     one’s voice, and the birds could fly over it with one sweep of
     their wings. And on the two banks there were millions of men, the
     one toward the other, eye to eye. But the distance which separated
     them was greater than the stars in the sky; it was the distance
     which separates right from injustice.

     “The ocean is so vast that the sea gulls do not dare to cross it.
     During seven days and seven nights the great steamships of America,
     going at full speed, drive through the deep waters before the
     lighthouses of France come into view; but from one side to the
     other, hearts are touching.”




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    We whom the draft rejected;
      We who stay by the stuff;
    We who measure our manhood
      And find that it isn’t enough;
    We who are gray and burdened;
      We whom the trades require--
    Will you permit us to hail you,
      Men of the Blood and Mire?

    We of the thundering forum;
      We of the pen and press;
    We who are pouring our utmost
      Into our land’s success;
    We of the Cross and Triangle,
    Lofty in deed and desire--
    God, how we shrivel before you,
      Men of the Blood and Mire!

    Aye, we are square with conscience--
      We are reservists all;
    Aye, when your ranks are gaping,
      We will fight where you fall;
    Yet, while we wait, your altar
      Flames in the gas and fire--
    We are the shade of your glory,
      Men of the Blood and Mire!




     Large numbers of Australian and New Zealand volunteers are already
     on the water bound for Vancouver, en route for Europe.--Paragraph
     of War News, 1915.

    Oh, Land of Ours, hear the song we make for you--
    Land of yellow wattle bloom, land of smiling Spring--
    Hearken to the after words, land of pleasant memories,
    Shea-oaks of the shady creeks, hear the song we sing.
    For we lie quietly, underneath the lonely hills,
    Where the land is silent, where the guns have ceased to boom,
    Here we are waiting, and shall wait for Eternity--
    Here on the battle-fields, where we found our doom.

    Spare not thy pity--Life is strong and fair for you--
    City by the waterside, homestead on the plain.
    Keep ye remembrance, keep ye a place for us--
    So all the bitterness of dying be not vain.
    Oh, be ye mindful, mindful of our honor’s name;
    Oh, be ye careful of the word ye speak in jest--
    For we have bled for you; for we have died for you--
    Yea, we have given, we have given our best.

    Life that we might have lived, love that we might have loved,
    Sorrow of all sorrows, we have drunk thy bitter lees.
    Speak thou a word to us, here in our narrow beds--
    Word of thy mourning lands beyond the Seas.
    Lo, we have paid the price, paid the cost of Victory.
    Do not forget, when the rest shall homeward come--
    Mother of our childhood, sister of our manhood days,
    Loved of our heavy hearts, whom we have left alone.

    Hark to the guns--pause and turn, and think of us--
    Red was our life’s blood, and heavy was the cost.
    But ye have Nationhood, but ye are a people strong--
    Oh, have ye love for the brothers ye have lost?
    Oh, by the blue skies, clear beyond the mountain tops,
    Oh, by the dear, dun plains where we were bred,--
    What be your tokens, tokens that ye grieve for us,
    Tokens of your Sorrowing for we that be Dead?


W. G. S.


    Past the marching men, where the great road runs,
    Out of burning Ypres the pale women came:
    One was a widow (listen to the guns!)--
    She wheeled a heaped-up barrow. One walked lame
    And dragged two little children at her side
    Tired and coughing with the dust.
        The third
    Nestled a dead child on her breast and tried
    To suckle him. They never spoke a word.

    So they came down along the Ypres road.
    A soldier stayed his mirth to watch them pass,
    Turned and in silence helped them with their load,
    And led them to a field and gave them bread.
    I saw them hide their faces in the grass
    And cry, as women might when Christ was dead.




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    Song of the west wind whispering--listen
    The murmuring waves of the golden grain;
    The lisp of rivers that ripple and glisten,
    Filled to brim with the night’s wild rain,
    Seaward going to come again,
    Pouring the torrents of spring on the acres
    Fallow and fertile. The wide world’s bread
    Harvested now by the busy rakers,
    Gleaners afield when the dawn is red;
    Wind of the west, where the leaning sheaves
    Darken the shadows as daylight leaves
    Or heap the granary under the eaves,
    Sing the song to us over and over,
    Happy harvests and multifold,
    Sweeter than breath of thyme or clover,
    Western wind over sheaves of gold!

    Wind of the south from the wide prairie,
    Mesquite barren and cactus lean,
    Where the fleet herds browse and the coyote wary
    Pierces the night with a note too keen;
    And the brown plain’s grass grows all between.
    Fields where the wild sage blows and billows,
    Purple waves on a sea of jade;
    And the bending cottonwoods touch the willows,
    And the water holes glimmer in light and shade.
    Then swinging up from a land of drouth,
    And on by the bayous flowing south,
    There by the wandering river’s mouth,
    White is the sod with the cotton blossom,
    Whiter the lint that has broken its pod
    And lies like snow on the sad earth’s bosom,
    Fresh and fair from the hand of God.

    Wind of the north from the long lakes sweeping
    Down to the meadows and hills of corn,
    Over the creeks where the perch are leaping,
    And the mill wheels hum at the break of morn;
    Hills where the clover is newly shorn;
    And sharply pungent as old-world gorse is
    The hay that the wagons have hurried home;
    And under the steady feet of the horses
    The furrows grow in the loose black loam.
    And ever the amber tassels seize
    The wings of every riotous breeze
    To fling gonfalons of golden sleaze,
    Silken and soft, to the earth’s far borders:
    “August heat but hastens the days
    When the hungry herds and the empty larders
    Shall all be filled with the Indian’s maize.”

    Wind of the east--ah, east wind blowing
    Long, long leagues from a land o’erseas;
    Empty hands that can know no sowing,
    Passionate pleading hands are these--
    Palms outstretched to us over the seas;
    Ah, the heart of France is a thing to cherish!
    But her werewolf, Hunger, cannot be slain
    Till out of our largess, lest she perish,
    We hasten the caravels of blessed grain.
    Till the sea-shark’s teeth forever are drawn,
    And the dread great guns are stilled at the dawn,
    We must hold high courage and carry on.
    So winds of the north, south, west, your treasure--
    Corn and cattle and golden grain--
    Shall crowd the ships to their fullest measure,
    And the bread thus cast will return again!




     (Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute, London)

    What are we fighting for, men of my race,
      And the best of us dying for?
    For wealth--or profit--or power--or fame?
    Or a statesman’s lust? or a monarch’s name?
    Or for aught that our sons of sons could blame
      Did we throw the dice of war?

    Why are ye weeping, sisters of mine,
      With a mien so proud and brave?
    Do ye weep because of the utter woe?
    Are ye proud because ye would have it so,
    Though Fate should have dealt you the final blow
      And there’s nothing to mark the grave?

    What are we fighting for, women and men,
      And the best of us dying for?
    It was just because we had signed our name,
    And the Briton’s creed is to honor the same:
    It was only for that, and our own fair fame
      We took up the gage of war.




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    The band is on the quarter-deck, the starry flag unfurled;
      The air is mad with music and with cheers.
    The ship is bringing home to us the homage of the world
      And writing new our name upon the years.
    Her officer is on the bridge; we greet him with hurrahs;
      But some one says, “Not he the glory won;
    Not he alone who wears the braid, deserves the loud applause,
      Oh, don’t forget the man behind the gun!”
    ’Tis said that to embattled seas our ship sailed forth at dawn,
      Unheeding shot, unheeding hidden mine;
    And through the thunders of the fight went steaming bravely on,
      The nation’s floating fortress on the brine.
    And never throbbing engine stopped, nor parted plate or seam
      In all that bloody day from sun to sun;
    The good ship sang her battle cry in hissing clouds of steam
      To cheer anew the man behind the gun.
    I look upon her shining bore, her engine’s pulsing heart,
      I look upon her bulwarks shaped of steel;
    I know there is another art, as great as gunner’s art,
      That makes the world at arms in homage kneel.
    This ship, defying shot and shell, defying winds and seas,
      Is fruit of honest labor, rightly done;
    The man who built the ship, my lads, remember him, for he’s
      The man behind the man behind the gun!



I stand on a peak at Verdun--a scarred, torn peak of hope and death.

Far under my feet run the mystic passages of Fort Souville.

I strain my eyes to look over a great field where men have swayed in the
death lock with eternity.

Ahead and to the right and left stretch fifteen kilometres gaping with
wounds, each shell hole a pit of death, a hideous mark left by the
scourge of despotism.

Ahead is that foul stretch from which came and still come the hordes of
tyranny, with breath of poison and sting of contamination.

Behind is ruin. Never was such ruin. A blight, a torture, a world pain,
piercing and cruel.

And yet behind is hope. Behind are the legions of liberty, the soldiers
of our children’s freedom.

Behind are the endless legions, coming, coming, coming. Behind are the
veteran legions of France and Britain. Behind are the countless legions
of America, coming, coming, coming--a brown ribbon of promise stretching
across the sea to the shrine of Liberty!

Here where these jagged slashes in the yellow earth have formed a
glorious tomb for three hundred thousand gallant French--here is the
testing ground of our destiny. Here they have held for us our heritage!
Here they have perished in the eternal splendor of self-sacrifice for
us! Here is their borderland--and ours!

Here they have written with their ebbing blood the slogan that has
thrilled the world--“They shall not pass!”

The gaunt and sinister craters, one merging into the ragged rim of
another, the bits of shell, the battered helmets, broken guns,
ill-assorted refuse of combat--each shattered particle a marker for some
valiant soul “gone west” in service of humanity.

Here, over this land glorified by a nobility of deed than which there
has been no more exalted, must our war be waged. Out of this hallowed
ground comes the call of those who have given of their best--the call to
our great land for Old Glory’s best!

There will come to us wounds that will rack our bodies and drain the
coursing blood of our vibrant veins. There will come to us the aching
pain of suffering and loss--here on these red fields of France. But we
will save our souls and our nation’s soul! And we will save our heritage
and give to the billions of the world the right to theirs.

So the brown ribbon of youth winds across the sea--to Verdun and to the
long, thin lines on either side. Here will we prove our right to life
and liberty!

Brown ribbon of promise!

Hoping, longing, wounded France!

Brown ribbon of youth and high resolve!

Brown ribbon of Liberty!

Here at Verdun!




     Written when the Allied armies were chasing the Germans across the
     fields of France and Flanders, in the summer of 1918.

    I sit down to write a poem of our fighting men’s renown,
    And I scarce get fairly started when they take another town.
    A British commentator’s praise I versify, and then
    A Frenchman up and multiplies the happy words by ten.
    The cable service headlines say the Yankees swat the Hun,
    But ere I get a jingle framed they’ve got more on the run.
    I’d like to be their Boswell in a khaki-lauding gem,
    But darn those doughboys’ peppy hides--I can’t keep up with them!
    It tickles me quite some to hear of how they’re spreading Teuts
    Around the landscape, and I’ll say their ways and means are beauts;
    The Fritzian din of “Kamerad” is drowning out the shells
    As U. S. shockers shock the shockers with their own pet hells.
    I want the good work to go on, but I have one request
    To make of them before they lay the kaiser out to rest,
    And that is this: Don’t stop your war; continue till you’ve won,
    But kindly take a lay-off till I get this anthem done!




    Trotting the roan horse
      Over the meadows,
    Purple of thistles,
      Purple of clover;
    Over the clay-brown path,
      All through the grass-lands,
    Glory of meadow flowers,
      Over! Come over!

           *       *       *       *       *

    On to the highway winding o’er the hill,
    White willow-bordered, grassy-banked;
    On through a village ruined and broken.
            Grass grows in the rubble-heaps,
            Poppies fill the courtyards,
            Swallows build in broken walls,
            And everything is still.

           *       *       *       *       *

    While at the corner--walk, O horse of mine,
    A Christ hangs from a crucifix beside a broken shrine.

           *       *       *       *       *

    On to the path at the side of the white road,
      Cantering, galloping, breasting the rise;
    Any road, every road, each is the right road,
      Facing the east, the sun in my eyes.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Trotting the roan horse
      Over the meadows,
    Purple of thistles,
      Purple of clover;
    Over the clay-brown path,
      Back through the grass-lands,
    All through the meadow flowers;
      Over! Come over!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    There will be dreams again! The grass will spread
      Her velvet verdure over earth’s torn breast;
    By ragged shard, half-hid, where rust runs red,
      The soaring lark in spring will build her nest.

    There will be dreams again! The primrose pale
      Will shelter where the belching guns plowed deep;
    The trees will whisper, and the nightingale
      Chant golden monodies where heroes sleep.

    There will be dreams again! The stars look down
      On youthful lovers--oh, first love, how sweet!
    And men will wed, and childish laughter crown
      Life’s awe-compelling miracle complete.

    There will be dreams again! Oh, thou forlorn
      That crumbling trench or the slow heaving sea
    Hath snatched thy dead--oh, pray thee, do not mourn!
      There will be dreams--thy loved shall come to thee!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    There used to be a boy next door
      Whom I often have longed to throttle;
    I’ve wished a thousand times and more
      That he had died while “on the bottle”!
    Oft in the past it has been hard
      For me to check my inclination,
    When he had cluttered up our yard,
      To hand him heavy castigation.

    With freckles on his tilted nose
      And ears that far in space protruded,
      He was not one, as heaven knows,
      To whom I in my prayers alluded.
    Derisively he showed his tongue
      And scorned the warnings which I gave him,
    But now I list myself among
      The ones who pray the Lord to save him.

    How vividly I can recall
      Him at the window, making faces;
    I used to think that in him all
      The impish traits had lurking places.
    He stole the green fruit from my trees,
      Not caring how it might affect him;
    Today he’s fighting overseas,
      And may the God of hosts protect him!

    From childhood into youth he passed,
      And then my little garden flourished;
    And still his friendship was not classed
      Among the treasures which I nourished.
    He tortured first a slide trombone,
      And next he tried a squeaky fiddle;
    His voice took on a raucous tone
      That used to rasp me down the middle.

    How soldierly our lad appeared
      When with his comrades he departed!
    I wonder if he knew I cheered,
      Or guessed that I was heavy-hearted.
    If I have damned him heretofore
      I now retract each foul aspersion;
    God bless the boy who lived next door,
      And used to be my pet aversion!




    Why do I love our flag? Ask why
    Flowers love the sunshine. Or, ask why
    The needle turns with eager eye
    Toward the great stars in northern sky.

    I love Old Glory, for it waved
    Where loyal hearts the Union saved.
    I love it, since it shelters me
    And all most dear, from sea to sea.
    I love it, for it bravely flies
    In freedom’s cause, ’neath foreign skies.

    I love it for its blessed cheer,
    Its starry hopes and scorn of fear;
    For good achieved and good to be
    To us and to humanity.

    It is the people’s banner bright,
    Forever guiding toward the light;
    Foe of the tyrant, friend of right,
    God give it leadership and might!



     Shortly after the verses here following were received from France
     by the American Red Star Animal Relief, Lieutenant Fleming fell in
     action. His voice, coming to us as from a plane of life where dumb
     creatures do not suffer, is a call to civilization to do its duty
     by the animals whose kind were silent heroes of the war.

    When the shells are bursting round,
    Making craters in the ground,
    And the rifle fire’s something awful cruel,
    When you ’ear them in the night
    (My Gawd! it makes you fight!)
    An’ yer thinks of them poor souls agoing ’ome,
    When you ’ear the Sergeant shout
    “Get y’r respirators out,”
    Then you looks and sees a cloud of something white.

    The gas is coming on
    An’ yer knows before it’s gone
      That the ’orse wots with you now won’t be by then;
    Yer loves him like yer wife
    An’ yer wants to save ’is life,
      But there ain’t no respirators, not for them.
    I was standing by ’is side
    On the night my old ’orse died,
      An’ I shan’t forget ’is looks towards the last.
    ’E was choking mighty bad,
    An’ ’is eyes was looking mad,
      An’ I seed that--’e--was dying--dying fast.

    An’ I want to tell yer ’ow
    It’s the ’orses gets us through,
      For they strains their blooming ’earts out when they’re pressed.
    We was galloping like ’ell
    When a bullet ’its old Bill,
      I c’d see the blood a-streaming down ’is face.
    It ’ad got ’im in the ’ead,
    But ’e stuck to it and led
    Till we comes to “Action right,”
    An’ then ’e fell.

    I ’adn’t time to choose
    I ’ad to cut ’im loose,
      For ’e’d done all ’e c’d afore a gun.
    When I looks at ’im again
    ’E was out of all ’is pain,
      An’ I ’opes ’is soul will rest for wot ’e done.
    If it ’adn’t been for Bill
    We should all ’ave been in ’ell,
      For we only got in action just in time.
    Ain’t it once occurred to you
    Wot the ’orses there go through?
      They ’elps to win our fight an’ does it fine.

    When ’is blood is flowing ’ot
    From a wound what ’e’s just got
      An’ ’is breath is coming ’ard an’ short an’ thin,
    ’E can see the men about,
    Getting water dealed out,
      But not a drop is brought to comfort ’im;
    Tho ’is tongue is parched and dry,
    ’E can see the water by,
    But ’is wounds are left to bleed,
    An’ ’e can’t tell us ’is need,
    So ’e’s just got to bear ’is pain--an’ think.

    There are ’eroes big and small,
    But the biggest of them all
      Is the ’orse wot lays a-dying on the ground.
    ’E doesn’t cause no wars,
    An’ ’e’s only fighting yours,
      An’ ’e gives ’is life for you without a sound.
    ’E doesn’t get no pay,
    Just some oats, and p’r’aps some hay;
      If ’e’s killed, no one thinks a bit of ’im.
    ’E’s just as brave an’ good
    As any men wot ever stood,
      But there’s mighty little thought or ’elp for ’im.



     This delightful whimsy will serve to keep in mind the positively
     affectionate exchange of greetings between the late President
     Carranza and his friend Wilhelm, when Wilhelm was celebrating what
     he did not know was the last glorious birthday in his life.

    Oh, Carranza sent a cable-(on the kaiser’s birthday) gram
    To the kaiser there at Pots-(that’s a German palace) dam,
    And it said, “Look out for Uncle (that’s my northern neighbor) Sam,
      For he’s coming after you!”

    Then the kaiser waved his iron (as the papers have it) hand,
    And he danced a little sara-(that’s a Turkish tango) band,
    And he said: “I’m safe in Heli-(in the German sea) goland,
      But I thank my friend Carranza.”



    The outfield is a-creepin’ in to catch the kaiser’s pop,
    And here’s a southpaw twirler with a lot of vim and hop!
    He’s tossed the horsehide far away to plug the hand-grenade;

    What matter if on muddy grounds this game of war is played?
    He’ll last through extra innings and he’ll hit as well as pitch;
    His smoking Texas leaguers’ll make the Fritzies seek the ditch!

    He’s just about to groove it toward a ducking Fritzie’s bean;
    His crossfire is the puzzlingest that ever yet was seen;
    His spittle is a deadly thing; his little inshoot curve
    Will graze some Heinie’s heaving ribs and make him lose his nerve.

    Up in the air he never goes; he always cuts the plate,
    No matter if the bleachers rise and start “The Hymn of Hate;”
    And pacifistic coaching never once has got his goat.
    Just watch him heave across the top the latest Yankee note!

    The Boches claim the Umpire is a-sidin’ with their nine,
    But we are not the boobs to fall for such a phony line;
    We know the game is fair and square, decisions on the level;
    The only boost the kaiser gets is from his pal, The Devil!

    The series now is opened, and the band begins to play;
    The batteries are warming up; the crowd shouts, “Hip-Hurray!”
    The catcher is a-wingin’ ’em to second, third and first,
    And if a Heinie tries to steal, he’s sure to get the worst.

    So watch the southpaw twirler in his uniform O. D.
    Retire to the players’ bench the Boches--one, two, three!
    He’ll never walk a bloomin’ one, nor let ’em hit it out.
    Just watch him make ’em fan the air and put the Hun to rout!



     From Miss Wilson’s book entitled “The Little Flag On Main Street,”
     published and copyright, 1917, by The Macmillan Company, New York.
     Special permission to insert in this book.

    On law and love and mercy
      Was laid the German curse
    When to her execution
      Was led the British nurse.

    In brutal might they thought her
      Of help and friendship shorn;
    John Brown, Jeanne d’Arc, all martyrs,
      Companioned her that morn.

    A harmless, tender woman,
      They took her to her doom;
    A dread, resistless spirit
      She rises from the tomb.

    Still Germany shall fear her,
      For since that bloody dawn
    Through all the earth that trembles
      Her soul goes marching on!




    “He profits most who serves us best!”
      Let each who labors, lives and dies
      Beneath these star-bespangled skies
    Go write that motto on his breast!

    “He profits most”--Here is no call
      To selfish ease or sordid gain;
      Who serves himself will serve in vain;
    Who profits most must serve us all.

    And he has most who gives the most,
      Since what is kept can but decay
    --And Death still treads his sleepless way
    Among our myriad human host.




    They shall return when the wars are over,
      When battles are memories dim and far;
    Where guns now stand shall be corn and clover,
      Flowers shall bloom where the blood-drops are.

    They shall return with laughing faces,
      Limbs that are lithe and hearts new-born;
    Yea, we shall see them in old home-places,
      Lovelier yet in the light of morn.



     The author of these heart-touching lines is a Queenslander of Welsh
     derivation. Sir Herbert Warren, K. C. V. O., of the University of
     Oxford, had this to say of him and of the Toast: “They say that no
     one but an Irishman understands Ireland, that she will listen to no
     one but an Irishman. Wales is near to her in geography and in race.
     I have thought she perhaps might listen to a Welsh voice. She has
     one today, now whispering, now ringing, across St. George’s
     Channel. Will she heed it? Who knows?”

    Tis a green isle set in a silver water,
      A fairy isle where the shamrock grows,
    Land of Legend, the Dream-Queen’s daughter--
      Out of the Fairies’ hands she rose.
    They touched her harp with a tender sighing,
      A spirit-song from a world afar,
    They touched her heart with a fire undying
      To fight and follow her battle-star.

    Too long, too long thro’ the grey years growing
      Feud and faction have swept between
    The thistledown and the red rose blowing,
      And the three-fold leaf of the shamrock green;
    But the seal of blood, ye shall break it never:
      With rifles grounded and bare of head
    We drink to the dead who live forever--
      A silent toast--To the Irish dead!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Above the broken walls the apple boughs
      Are murmurous with bees;
      Again the slumbrous breeze
    Eddies the snow of drifted chestnut flowers,
    And little ruffling winds go silverly
      Along the poplar trees.
    They never speak of it to me,
      My comrades. Awkward-kind
    I hear their voices roughen and grow dumb,
      Remembering I am blind--
    But through the dark, I know--I know the spring has come
                          To France!

    What matter I’ll not see beneath the wheat
      Red poppies burn again;
      The gleam of April rain
    Along the boulevards; the flower girls
    With mignonette and pinks and clematis;
      Not see again the Seine
    Slip under the silver bridges to Rouen?
      Ah, no; nor see
    The pale gold smile of buttercups, that glorifies
      Gray ruins with bravery
    Heartbreaking, valiant--the smile that lights the eyes
                          Of France!

    For through the sightless mercy of my days
      White visions come to me--
      Beyond the dark I see.
    Not this worn, steadfast France, wan, gallant, spent,
    With eyes burned haggard by the spirit of the Maid
      And Charlotte of Normandy--
    But France triumphant, high of heart,
      Smiling through throbbing drums
    On Rheims restored, Nancy, Alsace, Lorraine,
      In that new spring that comes--
    The spring we halt and blind and dead bring back again
                          To France!



     Written at the battle front in France and sent to his mother, Mrs.
     W. E. Damon. Lieutenant Wickersham was killed in action September
     14, 1918.

    The mist hangs low and quiet on a ragged line of hills,
      There’s a whispering of wind across the flat;
    You’d be feeling kind of lonesome if it wasn’t for one thing--
      The patter of the raindrops on your old tin hat.

    An’ you just can’t help a-figuring--sitting here alone--
      About this war and hero stuff and that,
    And you wonder if they haven’t sort of got things twisted up,
      While the rain keeps up its patter on your old tin hat.

    When you step off with the outfit to do your little bit,
      You’re simply doing what you’re s’posed to do--
    And you don’t take time to figure what you gain or what you lose,
      It’s the spirit of the game that brings you through.

    But back at home she’s waiting, writing cheerful little notes,
      And every night she offers up a prayer
    And just keeps on a-hoping that her soldier boy is safe--
      The mother of the boy who’s over there.

    And, fellows, she’s the hero of this great big ugly war,
      And her prayer is on that wind across the flat;
    And don’t you reckon maybe it’s her tears, and not the rain,
      That’s keeping up the patter on your old tin hat?




    The dull gray paint of war
    Covering the shining brass and gleaming decks
    That once re-echoed to the steps of youth.
    That was before
    The storms of destiny made ghastly wrecks
    Of peace, the Right of Truth.
    Impromptu dances, colored lights and laughter,
    Lovers watching the phosphorescent waves,
    Now gaping guns, a whistling shell; and after
    So many wandering graves.



     Flanders, spring of 1917. Authorship unknown.

    Out here the dogs of war run loose,
      Their whipper-in is Death;
    Across the spoilt and battered fields
      We hear their sobbing breath.
    The fields where grew the living corn
      Are heavy with our dead;
    Yet still the fields at home are green
      And I have heard it said:
    There are crocuses at Nottingham!
    Wild crocuses at Nottingham!
    Blue crocuses at Nottingham!
    Though here the grass is red.

    There are little girls at Nottingham
      Who do not dread the boche,
    Young girls at school at Nottingham
      (Lord! how I need a wash!)
    There are little boys at Nottingham
      Who never hear a gun;
    There are silly fools at Nottingham
      Who think we’re here for fun.
    There are crocuses at Nottingham!
    Young crocus buds at Nottingham!
    Thousands of buds at Nottingham
    Ungathered by the Hun.

    But here we trample down the grass
      Into a purple slime;
    There lives no tree to give the birds
      House room in pairing time.
    We live in holes, like cellar rats,
      But through the noise and smell
    I often see those crocuses
      Of which the people tell.
    There are crocuses at Nottingham!
    Bright crocuses at Nottingham!
    Real crocuses at Nottingham!
    Because we’re here in Hell.




    I knit, I knit, I pray, I pray.
      My knitting is my rosary.
    And as I weave the stitches gray,
      I murmur pray’rs continually.
    Gray loop, a sigh, gray knot, a wish,
      Gray row a chain of wistful pray’r,
    For thus to sit and knit and pray--
      This is of war the woman’s share.

    And so I knit, and thus I pray,
      And keep repeating night and day,
    May God lead safely those dear feet
      That soon shall wear the web of gray.
    Now and again a selfish strain?
      But surely woman heart must yearn,
    And pray sometimes that she may hear
      The footsteps that return.

    But if, O God, Not that.
      But if it must be sacrifice complete,
    Then I will trust that afterward
      Thou wilt guide home those precious feet.




    I can count my francs an’ santeems--
      If I’ve got a basket near--
    An’ I speak a wicked “bon jour,”
      But the verbs are awful queer,
    An’ I lose a lot o’ pronouns
      When I try to talk to you,
    For your eyes are so bewitchin’
      I forget to parlay voo.

    In your pretty little garden,
      With the bench beside the wall,
    An’ the sunshine on the asters,
      An’ the purple phlox so tall,
    I should like to whisper secrets
      But my language goes askew--
    With the second person plural
      For the old familiar “too.”

    In your pretty little garden
      I could always say “juh tame,”
    But it ain’t so very subtle,
      An’ it ain’t not quite the same
    As “You’ve got some dandy earrings,”
      Or “Your eyes are nice an’ brown”--
    But my adjectives get manly
      Right before a lady noun.

    Those infinitives perplex me;
      I can say you’re “tray jolee,”
    But beyond that simple statement
      All my tenses don’t agree.
    I can make the Boche “comprenney”
      When I meet ’em in a trench,
    But the softer things escape me
      When I try to yap in French.

    In your pretty little garden
      Darn the idioms that dance
    On your tongue so sweet and rapid,
      Ah, they hold me in a trance!
    Though I stutter an’ I stammer,
      In your garden, on the bench,
    Yet my heart is writin’ poems
      When I talk to you in French.




     Reproduced by special permission of the Proprietors of “Punch”

    I never would ’ave done it if I’d known what it would be.
    I thought it meant promotion and some extra pay for me;
    I thought I’d miss a drill or two with packs an’ trenchin’ tools,
    So I said I’d ’andled horses--an’ they set me ’andlin’ mules.

    Now ’orses they are ’orses, but a mule, ’e is a mule
    (Bit o’ devil, bit o’ monkey, bit o’ bloomin’ boundin’ fool!)
    Oh, I’m usin’ all the adjectives I didn’t learn at school
    On the prancin’, glancin’, rag-time dancin’ army transport mule.

    If I’d been Father Noah when the cargo walked aboard,
    I’d ’ave let the bears an’ tigers in, an’ never spoke a word;
    But I’d ’ave shoved a placard out to say the ’ouse was full,
    An’ shut the ark up suddent when I saw the army mule.

    They buck you off when ridden, they squish your leg when led;
    They’re mostly sittin’ on their tail or standing on their ’ead;
    They reach their yellow grinders out an’ gently chew your ear,
    An’ their necks is indiarubber for attackin’ in the rear.

    They’re as mincin’ when they’re ’appy as a ladies’ ridin’ school,
    But when the fancy takes ’em they’re like nothin’ but a mule--
    With the off wheels in the gutter an’ the near wheels in the air,
    An’ a leg across the traces, an’ the driver Lord knows where.

    They’re ’orrid in the stables, they’re worse upon the road;
    They’ll bolt with any rider, they’ll jib with any load;
    But soon we’re bound beyond the seas, an’ when we cross the foam
    I don’t care where we go to if we leaves the mules at ’ome.

    For ’orses they are ’orses, but a mule ’e is a mule
    (Bit o’ devil, bit o’ monkey, bit o’ bloomin’ boundin’ fool!)
    Oh, I’m usin’ all the adjectives I never learnt at school
    On the rampin’, rawboned, cast-steel-jawboned army transport mule.



     (Written on leave at Stratford-on-Avon.)

    Orchard land! Orchard land!
      Damson blossom, primrose bloom:
    Avon, like a silver band
      Winds from Stratford down to Broome:
        All the orchards simmer white
        For an April day’s delight:
        We have risen in our might,
        Left this land we love, to fight,
    Fighting still, that these may stand,
    Orchard land! Orchard land!

    Running stream! Running stream!
      Ruddy tench and silver perch:
    Shakespeare loved the water’s gleam
      Sparkling on by Welford church:
        Water fay meets woodland gnome
        Where the silver eddies foam
        Thro’ the richly scented loam:
        We are fain to see our home,
    See again thy silver gleam,
    Running stream! Running stream!

    Silver throats! Silver throats!
      Piping blackbird, trilling thrush:
    Shakespeare heard your merry notes;
      Still you herald morning’s blush:
        You shall sing your anthems grand
        When we’ve finished what He planned.
        God will hear and understand.
        God will give us back our land
    Where the water-lily floats,
    Silver throats! Silver throats!



     From “Oxford and Flanders.” B. H. Blackwell, Publishers, Oxford,
     England. Special permission to reproduce in this book.

    This is the song of the Plane--
    The creaking, shrieking plane,
    The throbbing, sobbing plane,
    And the moaning, groaning wires:--
    The engine--missing again!
    One cylinder never fires!
        Hey ho! for the Plane!

    This is the song of the Man--
    The driving, striving man,
    The chosen, frozen man:--
    The pilot, the man-at-the-wheel,
    Whose limit is all that he can,
    And beyond, if the need is real!
        Hey ho! for the Man!

    This is the song of the Gun--
    The muttering, stuttering gun,
    The maddening, gladdening gun:--
    That chuckles with evil glee
    At the last, long drive of the Hun,
    With its end in eternity!
        Hey ho! for the Gun!

    This is the song of the Air--
    The lifting, drifting air,
    The eddying, steadying air,
    The wine of its limitless space:--
    May it nerve us at last to dare
    Even death with undaunted face!
        Hey ho! for the Air!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Out of the night it leaped the seas--
        The four long years of night!
    “The foe is beaten to his knees,
        And triumph crowns the fight!”
    It sweeps the world from shore to shore,
        By wave and wind ’tis flung,
    It grows into a mighty roar
        Of siren, bell and tongue.
    Where little peoples knelt in fear,
        They stand in joy today;
    The hour of their redemption here,
        Their feet on Freedom’s way.
    The kings and kaisers flee their doom,
        Fall bloody crown and throne!
    Room for the people! Room! Make room!
        They march to claim their own!
    Now God be praised we lived to see
        His Sun of Justice rise,
    His Sun of Righteous Liberty,
        To gladden all our skies!
    And God be praised for those who died,
        Whate’er their clime or breed,
    Who, fighting bravely side by side,
        A world from thraldom freed!
    And God be praised for those who, spite
        Of woundings sore and deep,
    Survive to see the Cause of Right
        O’er all its barriers sweep!
    God and the people--This our cry!
        O, God, thy peace we sing!
    The peace that comes through victory,
        And dwells where Thou art King.



     Grief for a brother, an American who was killed in France, brought
     about the suicide of the author of this poem. The manuscript was
     found beside his body. The lines were published in THE CHICAGO

    His regiment came home today,
    But Jim, old Jim, he’s still away.
    I know, I know, he’s sleeping there
    Out on the fields of France somewhere.
    And yet, I stood out in the rain,
    To watch the boys come home again,
    Just wishing that it wasn’t true,
    And that Jim would be coming, too.
    Yet, all the while, I knew, I knew--

    Old Jim, he’s gone. They tell me how
    He fell against the Huns, and now,
    He’s gained a sort of dignity
    That somehow seems could never be;
    For Jim, he was so gay and free,
    With never a thought of greater weight
    Than just to keep an evening date,
    Or get some cigarets, perhaps,
    Or shoot a game or two of craps,
    Or dance all night, then drive all day
    His roadster down the speeding way.
    But, now, Jim’s gone, the folks will say,
    He was a wonder in his day.
    Old Jim--he wasn’t old, you know--
    I say that for I love him so--
    Grew up with me, and he and I
    Would never let a day go by
    That I did not see some plan begun
    In which we both would have some fun.
    And then, there comes that fateful day,
    When our men go to join the fray;
    And Jim can go, but I must stay.
    “Good-by, old top, if I’m not dead,
    I’ll give the Kaiser hell,” he said.
    I think he meant it, but--. Oh, well,
    He didn’t give the Kaiser hell.

    Folks always said that Jim was light,
    And stayed out much too late at night,
    Frivolous and never would,
    Whatever else he did, make good.

    Why, no one ever thought to take
    Jim seriously, the reckless rake!
    But when the time to charge had come,
    Jim left the trench, along with some
    More daring chaps, and crawling, spanned
    The hell that they call “No Man’s Land.”

    They cut the tangled wires away,
    Then our men charged, but there Jim lay--
    What is it that the Scriptures say
    About the chap that offers up
    His all, and drinks the bitter cup--
    That’s how I like to think of Jim,
    The glory that is left of him.




    Write us your verse, oh, soldier, tell us the grim, red tale,
    Learned on the field of battle, where bullets fell like hail.
    Pen us the ghastly story, of thousands of slaughtered men,
    Till our souls are sick with horror. And then, oh, soldier, then,

    Tell us in tender accents, how men with hearts of gold
    Succored their wounded brothers; stripped in the biting cold
    To cover the dead and dying. Give us our faith again,
    Our belief in a God Almighty, in a Brotherhood of Man.

    Paint us a canvas, soldier, a picture of fire and flame!
    Men, mad with the lust of killing, playing their grisly game!
    Show us the dead-strewn hillsides, guarding the blood-drenched plain,
    A picture of war’s grim horrors. And then, oh, soldier, then,

    Draw us the white-capped nurses, doctors with skilful hands,
    Counting their lives as nothing when human need demands
    All that they have to offer. Paint us the women and men
    Who bring the joy of living back to our hearts again.

    Sing us a song, oh, soldier, chant in a martial strain,
    Those who have died in battle, those who come home again.
    Call us the mothers of heroes, call us the mothers of men,
    Till our hearts are torn and bleeding. And then, oh, soldier, then,

    Play us in minor cadence, a harp with a tautened string,
    Set to a heavenly music, the songs the angels sing,
    Of a world by Love safeguarded, where wars shall ever cease,
    Sing us at last oh, soldier, the Song of Eternal Peace.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    “In Flanders fields, where poppies blow,”
    In France where beauteous roses grow,
    There let them rest--forever sleep,
    While we eternal vigil keep
    With our heart’s love--with our soul’s pray’r,
    For all our Fallen “Over There.”

    The sounding sea between us rolls
    And in perpetual requiem tolls--
    Three thousand miles of cheerless space
    Lie ’twixt us and their resting place;
    ’Twas God who took them by the hand
    And left them in the stranger land.

    The earth is sacred where they fell--
    Forever on it lies the spell
    Of hero deeds in Freedom’s cause,
    And men unborn shall come and pause
    To say a prayer, or bow the head,
    So leave these graves to hold their dead.

    Let not our sighing nor our tears
    Fall on them through the coming years
    Who on the land, on sea, in air,
    With dauntless courage everywhere,
    Their homes and country glorified--
    Stood to their arms and smiling died.

    Great France will leave no need nor room
    That we place flowers on their tomb--
    And proudly o’er their resting place,
    Will float forever in its grace,
    O’er cross, and star, and symbol tag,
    Their own beloved country’s flag.

    The morning sun will gild with light,
    The stars keep holy watch at night,
    The winter spread soft pall of snow,
    The summer flowers about them grow,
    The sweet birds sing their springtime call
    God’s love and mercy guard them all.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Black with the blackness of hell and despair
    Village and village and village lay there;
    Never a candle and never a lamp--
    Four hundred miles of the enemies’ camp.

    Trains of munitions that creak with their loads,
    Supplies, horses, soldiers engulfed by the roads;
    An ambulance crawling, a password, and then
    Through the shell-shattered houses the marching of men.

    Black with the blackness of wounds and of death
    The villages huddled there holding their breath;
    Black--till there rang this new order to “Cease”--
    “It is over!--all over!--the war!--_there is peace!_

    Come, dance on the ruins--Look, No Man’s Land there,
    “Verboten” for years, is a world’s thoroughfare;
    And village and village, remember the night,
    But turn it to day--and let there be light.

    The sorrow unburied, destruction--how much!
    Four hundred long miles for the taper to touch!
    The shades are undrawn, the lamps shining bright;
    It is dawn in the darkness; again There Is Light!




    The war is over, over there,
      And Peace has made her bow--
    But the Battle of Verdun is on
      At Jenkins’ Corners now!

    All’s still along the rippling Somme,
      Likewise at Belleau Wood--
    But the Jenkins’ Corners Battle now
      Is merely going good!

    Now beaten into plowshares are
      The swords once dripping wet
    With human gore--but Heinies fall
      At Jenkins’ Corners yet!

    The smoke of cannon floats away
      In France, a fading cloud--
    But the war at Jenkins’ Corners is
      Attracting quite a crowd!

    Pop Snider had a navvy there,
      And old Zeke Wade a son,
    And since the boys are home again,
      They’ve waded in like fun.

    The checker-board is moved away,
      A gas-mask takes its place;
    The floor is neatly sanded, so
      The campaign they may trace.

    Pop Snider knows what he’d have done,
      And Zekiel has his say
    On where they made the great mistake
      And nearly lost the day.

    They fight it o’er from A to Z,
      And slay full many a Hun--
    For out at Jenkins’ Corners now
      The war is just begun!




    A thousand whistles break the bonds of sleep
      With swift exultant summons wild and shrill;
    Impassioned tongues of flames toward heaven leap
      To tell us peace has come. The guns are still.

    A thousand flags have blossomed in the air
      Like poppies in a garden by the sea.
    Beyond the eastern hills a golden flare
      Foretells the day that broke on Calvary.

    Long-darkened Liberty uplifts once more
      Her torch on Belgium, Poland and Alsace
    And Flanders--on each desecrated shore,
      Slow dawns the sun; and on my mother’s face
    The look, I think, that Mary must have worn
    In Galilee on Resurrection morn.




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Out in that vague, vast “somewhere” of The Line
    They killed Old Jim, a proven friend of mine.
    Killed him at night, while he was on patrol;
    All the company found was just a hole
    A damned boche shell had dug out where he’d gone.
    The outfit passed the place just after dawn
    And saw some bodies; but they couldn’t tell
    Which one was which. They all were smashed to hell!
    They put Jim on the list, “Reported Dead”;
    “Missing in Action,” the home papers said.

    I wasn’t in The Line when Jim went out.
    A piece of shrapnel had hit me a clout
    Which kept me pretty quiet for a while--
    Gray days when it was mighty hard to smile.
    And when I learned Old Jim had topped the ridge
    I fell to thinking what a privilege
    It was to know him. Jim was just the kind
    That stops to pet a dog or help the blind.
    The sort you turn to when things don’t go right,
    And then forget when all the world is bright.
    Jim had a kindly eye that seemed to see
    The best in men. What could he see in me?
    I never knew; but Jim was always glad
    To give me half of everything he had.
    That’s why, you see, it cut me mighty deep
    To know Old Jim was Out There--in a heap.

    I’ve said Old Jim was not identified.
    All the outfit ever knew was--he died!
    And though there is no way to prove it’s so
    This Unknown Soldier is Old Jim. I know!
    The Congress Medal and the D. S. C.,
    Have been given this Lost Identity;
    And knowing that they both were earned by him,
    I know the Unknown Soldier is--Old Jim!




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    The wind to-day is full of ghosts with ghostly bugles blowing,
      Where shadows steal across the world, as silent as the dew.
    Where golden youth is yellow dust, by haunted rivers flowing
    Through valleys where the crosses grow, as harvest wheat is growing,
      And only dead men see the line that passes in review.

    The gripping clay once more gives way before the Mighty Mother
      Who waits with everlasting arms to guard her sleeping sons.
    And lonely mates in silent fields call out to one another
    The story of an empty grave, where each has lost a brother,
      Who takes the long, long trail at last beyond the rusting guns.

    Gently the east wind brought him home to meet the south wind sighing.
      Softly the north wind breathes his name that none of us may know.
    For only those who fell with him, out in the darkness lying,
    Can tell his company or rank, and they are unreplying,
      As each dreams on through summer dawns or mantling snow.

    Nameless--and yet how gallantly he faced the roaring thunder
      Where names were less than star-dust as the crashing steel swept by
    To take its endless toll of those the night squad spaded under,
    Clod upon clod, beneath the sod that time alone may sunder,
      Held where the wind-blown grasses stir beneath an alien sky.

    He’ll miss, perhaps, the poppy blooms that sway above the clover,
      But rose-red wreaths of Arlington bend low above his dreams.
    The reveille at dawn is done, the slogging hikes are over,
    Where out the friendly lanes of home, a gay and careless rover,
      His wild, free spirit seeks the hills and haunts the singing streams.

    No more he moves by Meuse or Aisne, some shell-swept river wading,
      No marching orders call him from his rough-hewn granite grave.
    And when at dusk we hear far off the eerie drum-taps fading,
    What hallowed spot holds more than this, with spectral lines parading
      Blood of our blood, dust of our dust, “the ashes of our brave”?

    There will be tears from watching eyes, where rain and mist are blended,
      There will be heartache in the lines where gold-starred mothers wait.
    But where the great shells fall no more, what vision is more splendid
    Than peace along the once-scarred fields, the last red battle ended,
      Peace that he helped to bring again above the twilight gate?

    Let valor’s minstrel voices sing his fame for future pages,
      But when the starless darkness comes and the long silence creeps,
    When blossom mists of spring return or winter torrent rages,
    Write this above his nameless dust, to last beyond the ages,
      “Safe in the Mighty Mother’s arms an Unknown Soldier sleeps.”




     Permission to reproduce in this book

    Within this nation-hallowed tomb
    An unknown soldier lies asleep,
    Symbolic comrade of all those
    Who, on the land, on sea, in air,
    In that red death across the seas,
    Sealed with their blood the sacred truths
    For which our country ever stands:
    That righteousness is all the law--
    That justice is true government--
    Man’s liberty the gift of God.
    In memory of the faith they kept,
    Here through the ages all the land
    As honor guard on watch will stand!


Above the broken walls the apple boughs, 181

Absolute knowledge I have none, 86

Across the sands by Mary’s well, 47

Against the shabby house I pass each day, 111

A little grimy-fingered girl, 43

Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Austrian heir-apparent, 137

A thousand whistles break the bonds of sleep, 198

Athwart that land of bloss’ming vine, 65

Black with the blackness of hell and despair, 196

Bosun’s whistle piping, “Starboard watch is on”;, 18

Boy in khaki, boy in blue, 82

By all the glories of the day, 13

By blazing homes, through forests torn, 70

Click, click! how the needles go, 128

Come! Says the drum, 67

Come shake hands, my little peach blossom, 76

Dear little flag in the window there, 154

Down in the street, with a lilting swing, 108

Down toward the deep-blue water, marching to throb of drum, 112

“Do your bit!” How cheap and trite, 152

’E’s a sportsman is our Padre, 36

Far and near, high and clear, 106

Flag of our Faith: lead on--, 40

Float thou majestically, proudly, triumphantly, 153

Franceline rose in the dawning gray, 139

God, the Master Pilot, 68

Gone is the spire that slept for centuries, 92

Hail and farewell, 126

Hail, banner of our holy faith, 45

Hear the guns, hear the guns!, 134

He profits most who serves us best!, 179

Here in the long white ward I stand, 14

Here’s to the Blue of the wind-swept North, 41

He was a French Boy Scout--a little lad, 83

He woke: the clank and racket of the train, 121

His regiment came home today, 192

Ho! Heimdal sounds the Gjallar-horn:, 21

I can count my francs an’ santeems, 186

I enlisted in the infantry last summer;, 141

If I should die, think only this of me:, 102

I have a conversation book; I brought it out from home, 19

I have a rendezvous with Death, 99

I hear the throbbing music down the lanes of Afric rain:, 42

I knit, I knit, I pray, I pray, 185

I never would ’ave done it if I’d known what it would be, 187

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow, 101

In Flanders fields, where poppies blow, 195

In this last hour, before the bugles blare, 120

I saw the spires of Oxford, 114

I sit down to write a poem of our fighting men’s renown, 169

I stand on a peak at Verdun--a scarred, torn peak of hope and death, 167

It is long since knighthood was in flower, 85

It is portentous, and a thing of state, 144

I tried to be a doughboy, but they said my feet were flat, 143

It’s a high-falutin’ title they have handed us;, 44

It’s Spring at home; I know the signs--, 123

It was high midsummer and the sun was shining strong, 34

It was only a little river; almost a brook;, 159

It was thick with Prussian troopers, it was foul with German guns, 29

I’ve heard a half a dozen times, 113

I was an exile from my own country, 93

I wonder what the trees will say, 118

Just for a “scrap of paper,”, 24

Leave me alone here, proudly, with my dead, 132

Left! Left! Had a good girl when I Left! Left, 71

Let us praise God for the Dead: the Dead who died in our cause, 119

’Mid blinding rain this inky night, 74

Mike Dillon was a doughboy, 61

My heart is numb with sorrow;, 51

My house that I so soon shall own, 110

My name is Danny Bloomer and my age is eighty-three, 75

My son, at last the fateful day has come, 87

Never a Serbian flower shall bloom, 50

No beauty could escape his loving eyes, 14

No bugle is blown, no roll of drums, 86

No Man’s Land is an eerie sight, 16

Not with vain tears, when we’re beyond the sun, 102

Now, Mr. Wall of Wall St., he built himself a yacht, 89

O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear, 109

Oh, Carranza sent a cable-(on the kaiser’s birthday) gram, 176

Oh, Land of Ours, hear the song we make for you--, 161

Oh, the General with his epaulets, leadin’ a parade;, 37

Oh ye whose hearts are resonant, and ring to War’s romance, 146

One star for all she had, 116

On law and love and mercy, 178

On the battlefields of Flanders men have blessed you in their pain, 69

Orchard land! Orchard land!, 189

Our little hour--how swift it flies--, 103

Out here the dogs of war run loose, 184

Out in that vague vast “somewhere” of The Line, 199

Out of the night it leaped the seas, 191

Outside the ancient city’s gate, 48

Over thousands of miles, 53

Pardon! he has no Engleesh, heem, 73

Past the marching men, where the great road runs, 162

Perched upon an office stool, neatly adding figures, 94

Poppies in the wheat fields on the pleasant hills of France, 25

Ribbons of white in the flag of our land, 105

Saint Genevieve, whose sleepless watch, 20

Say, pa! What is a service flag?, 158

She stands alone beside the gate, 157

She wasn’t much to brag about, she wasn’t much to see, 30

Some day the fields of Flanders shall bloom in peace again, 129

Somewhere is music from the linnets’ bills, 104

Song of the west wind whispering--listen, 163

Son o’ ol’ Miz McAuliffe, the widder o’ Box-Car Jack, 155

Standin’ up here on the fire-step, 80

Still breaks the Holy morn, to soothe the care, 117

Straight thinking, Straight talking, 57

Suddenly one day the last ill shall fall away, 151

Summer comes and summer goes, 72

Thank God, our liberating lance, 46

The band is on the quarter-deck, the starry flag unfurled;, 166

The Colonel has a job to do, 32

The dull gray paint of war, 183

The evening star a child espied, 81

The herdman wandering by the lonely rills, 27

The Kid has gone to the Colors, 23

The Kings are dying! In blood and flame, 145

The little home paper comes to me, 15

The magpies in Picardy, 130

The mist hangs low and quiet on a ragged line of hills, 182

The nightingales of Flanders, 50

The old flag is a-doin’ her very level best, 151

The Old Gang on the Corner! What an arrant tribe they were, 64

The outfield is a-creepin’ in to catch the kaiser’s pop, 177

The rivers of France are ten score and twain, 79

The sick man said: “I pray I shall not die, 133

The soldier boys are marching, are marching past my door;, 78

The star upon their service flag has changed to gleaming gold:, 17

The sunny streets of Oxford, 115

The war is over, over there, 197

The wind today is full of ghosts with ghostly bugles blowing, 200

There are some that go for love of a fight, 96

There is a hill in England, 60

There’s a military band that plays, on Sunday afternoons, 63

There’s a rumble an’ a jumble an’ a humpin’ an’ a thud, 26

There used to be a boy next door, 172

There will be dreams again! The grass will spread, 171

They dug no grave for our soldier lad, who fought and who died
        out there:, 136

They knew they were fighting our war. As the months grew to years, 52

They shall not pass, While Britain’s sons draw breath, 125

They shall return when the wars are over, 179

They’ve put us through our paces;, 69

This is the song of the Plane--, 190

Thou art no longer here, 90

Through the dark night and the fury of battle, 84

’Tis a green isle set in a silver water, 180

Trotting the roan horse, 170

Twenty years of the army, of drawing a sergeant’s pay, 38

Unfurl the flag of Freedom, 98

Up among the chimneys tall, 49

Was there ever a game we did not share, 91

We had forgotten You, or very nearly--, 55

We never were made to be seen on parade, 66

We often sit upon the porch on sultry August nights, 59

West to the hills, the long, long trail that strikes, 123

We whom the draft rejected, 160

What are we fighting for, men of my race, 165

When I return, let us be very still, 33

When the shells are bursting round, 174

Who was it, picked from civil life, 127

Why do we love our flag? Ask why flowers love the sunshine, 173

Within this nation-hallowed tomb, 202

Write us your verse, oh, soldier, tell us the grim, red tale, 193

Yes, back at home I used to drive a tram;, 97

You’re a funny fellow, poilu, in your dinky little cap, 95

You see that young kid lying there, 124

“You’ve heard a good deal of the telephone wires”, 57

Readings and Monologues à la Mode


Thirty-two platform selections in prose and verse, ranging from humor to
pathos, and affording an excellent repertoire for the versatile


CONTENTS.--Amateur Gum Chewer; American Eagle; Am I Your Vife? At the
Soda Fountain; Betty at the Baseball Game; Billy Keeps a Secret; Black
Blue-Grass Widow; Bridget’s Disappointments; Brudder Rastus’ Sermon on
the World War; Cullud Lady at the Phone; Free Years Old; Glory Car;
Hallowe’en Witch; High School Tact; How to Get Married; Humoresque;
Kid’s Complaint; Lodge Goat; Men Who Died; Minnie at the Skating Rink;
Mrs. Santa Claus; Newlyweds; Practisin’; Sin of Steve Audaine;
S-m-i-l-e; Sonny Meets the Smiths; Traumerei; Turkey in the Straw; When
I’m All Dressed Up; Willie, the Angelic Child.

Beautiful cloth binding, lettering and design in two colors, attractive

Price, $1.25

T. S. Denison & Company, Publishers

623 S. Wabash Ave.      CHICAGO

Some Vaudeville Monologues


Right up to the minute and covers a wide range of characters. Thirteen
for men and five for women.


CONTENTS.--“People I Have Met”--_Cholly has a perfect batting average in
the laugh league_. “Well, I Swan!”--_Reuben’s impressions of a big
city_. “Her Busted Romances”--_a muchly jilted maiden of uncertain age_.
“Music à la Carte”--_Bobby explains the situation without orchestral
aid_. “Abie Cohen’s Wedding Day”--_a ready conversationalist when his
hands are free_. “Sorrows of Sadie”--_a chorus girl confides to a
sympathetic companion_. “Tipperary Tips”--_Barney prescribes a laugh
tonic_. “Kissing as an Art”--_efficiency is his middle name_. “Panhandle
Pete”--_he hands out a piece of free advice_. “Tillie Olson’s
Romance”--_a Swedish queen of the kitchen_. “As Tony Tells It”--_he has
an imported dialect--try it on your vocabulary_. “Suffragette
Susie”--_who might be willing to change her name and pay the parson as
well_. “A Sad Lover”--_elucidations of a colored Romeo_. “Chatter”--_Nat
has a jitney income, a limousine appetite and a six cylinder
conversation_. “My Father Says”--_Elisabeth does a bit of advertising_.
“I’m a Tellin’ You”--_a small town guy distributes some village
information_. “The Precinct Politician”--_as a political speech maker he
is a good plumber_. “Yon Yonson, Yanitor”--_he turns on the steam_.
Unique illustrations of each character.

Beautiful cloth binding, lettering and design in two colors, attractive

Price, $1.25

T. S. Denison & Company, Publishers

623 S. Wabash Ave.      CHICAGO

Let’s Pretend

A Book of Children’s Plays


“Come--let’s pretend!” has been the slogan of all childhood. A few gay
feathers have transformed an everyday lad into a savage warrior; a
sweeping train has given a simple gingham frock the dignity of a court
robe; the power of make-believe has changed a bare attic into a gloomy
forest or perhaps into a royal palace. These six plays will appeal to
the imagination, to the fun-loving nature and to the best ideals of all


CONTENTS.--The Little Pink Lady (6 Girls); The Ever-Ever Land (16 Boys,
17 Girls); When the Toys Awake (15 Boys, 5 Girls); The Forest of Every
Day (5 Boys, 7 Girls); A Christmas Tree Joke (7 Boys, 7 Girls); “If
Don’t-Believe Is Changed Into Believe” (21 Boys, 15 Girls). Full
descriptions for producing; easy to costume and “put on.” Clever
illustrations showing the appearance of each character. The most
charming children’s plays ever written.

Beautiful cloth binding, lettering and design in two colors, attractive

Price, $1.25

T. S. Denison & Company, Publishers

623 S. Wabash Ave.      CHICAGO

Jolly Monologues


Another superb group of readings by the author of “Merry Monologues.”
The twenty-eight original selections in prose and verse will prove gems
for any platform artist. Many moods and shades of sentiment are
represented, but the majority are humorous. The original work of this
author is in increasing demand.


CONTENTS.--At the Bridge Party; A Free Lunch; You Have the Same Old
Smile; Signs of Spring; Mr. Daniel and the Lions; At the Telephone;
You’s Mah Lil’ Coal Black Baby; The Ghost of Annie Flanigan; The Club
Luncheon; The New Baby; The Kisses of Life; What George Thinks of the
Movies; Isn’t Art Absorbing; Her Valentine; Maggie McCarty Talks About
Receptions; Hiram and the Bolshevists; Jimmy’s Prayer; What Mary Thinks
of Boys; From the Street Car Conductor’s Point of View; The Eater; The
Peach Blossom Princess; One Minute to Eat; A Chop Suey Love Tale;
Converting John the “Blaptist”; To Him That Overcometh; When We Went In;
Who Says Woman’s Place Is at Home? Red Charley--One Credit.

Beautiful cloth binding, lettering and design in two colors, attractive

Price, $1.25

T. S. Denison & Company, Publishers

623 S. Wabash Ave.      CHICAGO

Merry Monologues


These selections are wholly original and sufficiently varied in
character and sentiment to enable the reader to make up a well-rounded
program in which high comedy mingles with farce and pathos in a manner
suitable for all occasions. Nineteen monologues and nine short poems
which are especially adapted to that particular form of entertainment
called the pianologue, viz., reading to music.


Some of the selections are new but most of them are the pick from the
author’s wide repertoire, which she has used throughout this country and
in England. They bear the stamp of enthusiastic public approval and are
now first offered to the public.

=Contents:= On the Street Car; The Renaissance of the Kiss; Husbands Is
Husbands; Oh, Friend of Mine; George’s First Sweetheart; Bobby and the
New Baby; Lucile Gets Ready for a Dance; Mandy’s Man and Safety First;
Maggie McCarthy Goes on a Diet; Mrs. Climber Doesn’t Like Notoriety;
Lucindy Jones Expects a Legacy; Grown Folks Is so Awful Queer; At the
Movies; The Gingie Boy; Ode to a Manikin; Isaacstein’s Busy Day; Like
Pilgrims to the Appointed Place; Mrs. Bargain Counter Meets a Friend;
Mother Mine; Maggie McCarthy Has Her Fortune Told; In Vaudeville; Uncle
Jim and the Liniment; The Funny Story; In the Milliner Shop; Mrs.
Trubble’s Troubles; George’s Cousin Willie; When Lucindy Goes to Town; A

Beautiful cloth binding, lettering and design in two colors, clear,
attractive type.

Price, $1.25

T. S. Denison & Company, Publishers

623 S. Wabash Ave.      CHICAGO


[1] From “Poems,” by Alan Seeger. Copyright, 1916, by Charles
Scribner’s Sons, Publishers, New York. Permission to reproduce in this

[2] “The Soldier,” and “Not With Vain Tears” are from “The Collected
Poems of Rupert Brooke,” published and copyright, 1915, by John Lane
Company, New York. Special permission to reproduce in this book.

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