The Project Gutenberg eBook of Over Here

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Title: Over Here

Author: Edgar A. Guest

Release date: September 2, 2005 [eBook #16632]
Most recently updated: December 12, 2020

Language: English



E-text prepared by Pat Saumell and Chuck Greif




Over Here


Edgar A. Guest

Author of

"A Heap o' Livin'" "Just Folks"


The Reilly & Britton Co.




Book Cover

To the Mothers Over Here


Alarm, The
April Thoughts
As It Looks to the Boy
Battle Prayer, A
Beautifying the Flag
Better Thing, The
Big Deeds, The
Bigger Than His Dad
Boy Enlists, The
Boy's Adventure, The
Call to Service, The
Change, The
Chaplain, The
Christmas, 1918
Christmas Box, The
Christmas Greeting, A
Complacent Slacker,The
Constant Beauty
Creed, A
Discovery of a Soul, The
Do Your All
Easy Service
Everywhere in America
Father's Prayer, A
Father's Thoughts, A
Father's Tribute, A
Flag, The
Flag on the Farm, The
Fly a Clean Flag
Follow a Famous Father
Follow the Flag
For Your Boy and Mine
Friendly Greeting, The
From Laughter to Labor
Future, The
General Pershing
Girl He Left Behind, The
Glory of Age, The
Gold Givers, The
Good Luck
Good Soldier, A
He Should Meet a Mother There
Here We Are!
His Room
His Santa Claus
Honor Roll, The
Important Thing, The
Joy to Be, The
July the Fourth, 1917
Kelly Ingram
Life's Slacker
Memorial Day
Mother Faith, The
Mother on the Sidewalk, The
Mothers and Wives
My Part
New Year, The
Next of Kin
Our Duty to Our Flag
Out of It All
Over Here
Patriot, A
Patriotic Creed, A
Patriotic Wish, A
Plea, A
Prayer, A
Prayer, 1918, A
Princess Pats, The
Proof of Worth, The
Runner McGee
See It Through
Show the Flag
Soldier on Crutches, The
Spring in the Trenches
Struggle, The
Taking His Place
Things That Make a Soldier Great, The
Thoughts of a Soldier
Time for Deeds, The
To a Kindly Critic
To a Lady Knitting
To the Men at Home
Undaunted, The
Unsettled Scores, The
Waiter at the Camp, The
War's Homecoming
We Need a Few More Optimists
We Who Stay at Home
We've Had a Letter From the Boy
When the Drums Shall Cease to Beat
Why We Fight
Wish, A
Wrist Watch Man, The
Your Country Needs You

Over Here

Pledged to the bravest and the best,

We stand, who cannot share the fray,

Staunch for the danger and the test.

For them at night we kneel and pray.

Be with them, Lord, who serve the truth,

And make us worthy of our youth!

Here mother-love and father-love

Unite in love of country now;

Here to the flag that flies above,

Our heads we reverently bow;

Here as one people, night and day,

For victory we work and pray.

Nor race nor creed shall difference make,

Nor bigot mar the zealot's plan;

We give our all for Freedom's sake,

Each man a king, each king a man.

Make us the equal, Lord, we pray

Of them who die for truth to-day!

Let us as gladly give our best,

Let us as bravely pay the price

As they, who in the bitter test

Meet the supremest sacrifice.

Oh, God! Wherever we are led,

Let us be worthy of our dead!

Let us not compromise the truth,

Let us not cringe so much in fear

That foes may whisper to our youth

That we have failed in courage here.

Lord, strengthen us, that they may know

Our spirits follow where they go!

Why We Fight

This is the thing we fight:

A cry of terror in the night;

A ship on work of mercy bent—

A carrier of the sick and maimed—

Beneath the cruel waters sent,

And those that did it, unashamed.

A woman who had tried to fill

A mother's place; had nursed the ill

And soothed the troubled brows of pain

And earned the dying's grateful prayers,

Before a wall by soldiers slain!

And such a poor pretext was theirs!

Old women pierced by bayonets grim

And babies slaughtered for a whim,

Cathedrals made the sport of shells,

No mercy, even for a child,

As though the imps of all the hells

Were crazed with drink and running wild.

All this we fight—that some day when

Good sense shall come again to men,

Our children's children may not read

This age's history thus defamed

And find we served a selfish creed

And ever be of us ashamed!


God has been good to men. He gave

His Only Son their souls to save,

And then he made a second gift,

Which from their dreary lives should lift

The tyrant's yoke and set them free

From all who'd throttle liberty.

He gave America to men—

Fashioned this land we love, and then

Deep in her forests sowed the seed

Which was to serve man's earthly need.

When wisps of smoke first upwards curled

From pilgrim fires, upon the world

Unnoticed and unseen, began

God's second work of grace for man.

Here where the savage roamed and fought,

God sowed the seed of nobler thought;

Here to the land we love to claim,

The pioneers of freedom came;

Here has been cradled all that's best

In every human mind and breast.

For full four hundred years and more

Our land has stretched her welcoming shore

To weary feet from soils afar;

Soul-shackled serfs of king and czar

Have journeyed here and toiled and sung

And talked of freedom to their young,

And God above has smiled to see

This precious work of liberty,

And watched this second gift He gave

The dreary lives of men to save.

And now, when liberty's at bay,

And blood-stained tyrants force the fray,

Worn warriors, battling for the right,

Crushed by oppression's cruel might,

Hear in the dark through which they grope

America's glad cry of hope:

Man's liberty is not to die!

America is standing by!

World-wide shall human lives be free:

America has crossed the sea!

America! the land we love!

God's second gift from Heaven above,

Builded and fashioned out of truth,

Sinewed by Him with splendid youth

For that glad day when shall be furled

All tyrant flags throughout the world.

For this our banner holds the sky:

That liberty shall never die.

For this, America began:

To make a brotherhood of man.

The Time for Deeds

We have boasted our courage in moments of ease,

Our star-spangled banner we've flung on the breeze;

We have taught men to cheer for its beauty and worth,

And have called it the flag of the bravest on earth

Now the dark days are here, we must stand to the test.

Oh, God! let us prove we are true to our best!

We have drunk to our flag, and we've talked of the right,

We have challenged oppression to show us its might;

We have strutted for years through the world as a race

That for God and for country, earth's tyrants would face;

Now the gage is flung down, hate is loosed in the world.

Oh, God! shall our flag in dishonor be furled?

We have said we are brave; we have preached of the truth,

We have walked in conceit of the strength of our youth;

We have mocked at the ramparts and guns of the foe,

As though we believed we could laugh them all low.

Now oppression has struck! We are challenged to fight!

Oh, God! let us prove we can stand for the right!

If in honor and glory our flag is to wave,

If we are to keep this—the land of the brave;

If more than fine words are to fashion our creeds,

Now must our hands and our hearts turn to deeds.

We are challenged by tyrants our strength to reveal!

Oh, God! let us prove that our courage is real!

Everywhere in America

Not somewhere in America, but everywhere to-day,

Where snow-crowned mountains hold their heads,

the vales where children play,

Beside the bench and whirring lathe, on every

lake and stream

And in the depths of earth below, men share a

common dream—

The dream our brave forefathers had of freedom

and of right,

And once again in honor's cause, they rally and


Not somewhere in America is love of country


But east and west and north and south once

more the bugles sound,

And once again, as one, men stand to break

their brother's chains,

And make the world a better place, where only

justice reigns.

The patriotism that is here, is echoed over there,

The hero at a certain post is on guard everywhere.

O'er humble home and mansion rich the starry

banner flies,

And far and near throughout the land the men

of valor rise.

The flag that flutters o'er your home is fluttering

far away

O'er homes that you have never seen. The same

impulses sway

The souls of men in distant states. The red, the

white and blue

Means to one hundred million strong, just what

it means to you.

The self-same courage resolute you feel and


Is throbbing in the breasts of men throughout

this mighty land.

Not somewhere in America, but everywhere to-day,

For justice and for liberty all free men work

and pray.

The Things That Make a Soldier Great

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,

To face the flaming cannon's mouth, nor ever question why,

Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,

The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,

The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:

'Tis these that make a soldier great. He's fighting for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;

'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;

For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam

As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.

Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run—

You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.

What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,

The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,

Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.

The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome

But to the spot, where'er it be—the humble spot called home.

And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there,

And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;

The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,

And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.

He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,

And only death can stop him now—he's fighting for them all.

The Flag

We never knew how much the Flag

Could mean, until he went away,

We used to boast of it and brag,

As something of a by-gone day;

But now the Flag can start our tears

In moments of our greatest joy,

Old Glory in the sky appears

The symbol of our little boy.

We knew that sometimes people wept

To see the Flag go waving by,

But never guessed the griefs they kept—

We never understood just why.

But now our eyes grow quickly dim,

Our voices choke with sobs to-day;

The Flag is telling us of him,

Our little boy who's gone away.

We never knew the Flag could be

So much a part of human life,

We thought it beautiful to see

Before these bitter days of strife;

But now more beautiful it gleams,

And deeper in our hearts it dwells;

It is the emblem of our dreams,

For of our little boy it tells.

A Battle Prayer

God of battles, be with us now:

Guard our sons from the lead of shame,

Watch our sons when the cannons flame,

Let them not to a tyrant bow.

God of battles, to Thee we pray:

Be with each loyal son who fights

In the cause of justice and human rights,

Grant him strength and lead the way.

God of battles, our youth we give

To the battle line on a foreign soil,

To conquer hatred and lust and spoil;

Grant that they and their cause shall live.

Good Luck

Good luck! That's all I'm saying, as you sail across the sea;

The best o' luck, in the parting, is the prayer you get from me.

May you never meet a danger that you won't come safely through,

May you never meet a German that can get the best of you;

Oh! A thousand things may happen when a fellow's at the front,

A thousand different mishaps, but here's hoping that they won't.

Good luck! That's all I'm saying, as you turn away to go,

Good luck and plenty of it, may it be your lot to know;

May you never meet rough weather, but remember if you do

That the folks at home are wishing that you'll all come safely through.

Oh! A thousand things may happen when a fellow bears the brunt

Of His Country's fight for glory, but I'm praying that they won't.

Good luck! That's all I'm saying as you're falling into line;

May the splendor of your service bring you everything that's fine;

May the fates deal kindly with you, may you never know distress,

And may every task you tackle end triumphant with success.

Oh! A thousand things may happen that with joy your life will fill;

You may not get all the gladness, but I'm hoping that you will.

A Prayer, 1918

Oh, make us worthy,

God, we pray,

To do thy service

Here to-day;

Endow us with

The strength we need

For every

Sacrificial deed!

The Change

'Twas hard to think that he must go,

We knew that we should miss him so,

We thought that he must always stay

Beside us, laughing, day by day;

That he must never know the care

And hurt and grief of life out there.

Then came the call for youth, and he

Talked with his mother and with me,

And suddenly we learned the boy

Was hungering to know the joy

Of doing something real with life,

And that he craved the test of strife.

And so we steeled ourselves to dread;

To see at night his empty bed;

To feel the silence and the gloom

That hovers o'er his vacant room,

And though we wept the day he went,

And many a lonely hour we've spent,

We've come to think as he, somehow,

And we are more contented now;

We're proud that we can stand and say

We have a boy who's gone away.

And we are glad to know that he

Is serving where he ought to be.

It's queer, the change that time has brought:

We're different now in speech and thought;

His letters home mean joy to us,

His difficulties we discuss.

When word of his promotion came,

His mother, with her eyes aflame

With happiness and pride, rushed out

To tell the neighbors round about.

Her boy! Her boy is doing well!

What greater news can mothers tell?

I think that pity now we show

For those who have no boys to go.

Mothers and Wives

Mothers and wives, 'tis the call to arms

That the bugler yonder prepares to sound;

We stand on the brink of war's alarms

And your men may lie on a blood-stained


The drums may play and the flags may fly,

And our boys may don the brown and blue,

And the call that summons brave men to die

Is the call for glorious women, too.

Mothers and wives, if the summons comes,

You, as ever since war has been,

Must hear with courage the rolling drums

And dry your tears when the flags are seen.

For never has hero fought and died

Who has braver been than the mother, who

Buckled his saber at his side,

And sent him forward to dare and do.

Mothers and wives, should the call ring out,

It is you must answer your country's cry;

You must furnish brave hearts and stout

For the firing line where the heroes die.

And never a corpse on the field of strife

Should be honored more in his country's sight

Than the noble mother or noble wife

Who sent him forth in the cause of right.

Mothers and wives, 'tis the call for men

To give their strength and to give their lives;

But well we know, such a summons then

Is the call for mothers and loyal wives,

For you must give us the strength we need,

You must give us the boys in blue,

For never a boy or a man shall bleed

But a mother or wife shall suffer, too.

The Call to Service

These are the days when little thoughts

Must cease men's minds to occupy;

The nation needs men's larger creeds,

Big men must answer to her cry;

No longer selfish ways we tread,

The greater task lies just ahead.

These are the days when petty things

By all men must be thrust aside;

The country needs men's finest deeds,

Awakened is the nation's pride;

Men must forsake their selfish strife

Once more to guard their country's life.

Kelly Ingram

His name was Kelly Ingram; he was Alabama's son,

And he whistled "Yankee Doodle," as he stood beside his gun;

There was laughter in his make-up, there was manhood in his face,

And he knew the best traditions and the courage of his race;

Now there's not a heart among us but should swell with loyal pride

When he thinks of Kelly Ingram and the splendid way he died.

On the swift Destroyer Cassin he was merely gunner's mate,

But up there to-day, I fancy, he is standing with the great.

On that grim day last October his position on the craft

Was that portion of the vessel which the sailors christen aft;

There were deep sea bombs beside him to be dropped upon the Hun

Who makes women folks his victims and then gloats o'er what he's done.

From the lookout came a warning; came the cry all sailors fear,

A torpedo was approaching, and the vessel's doom was near;

Ingram saw the streak of danger, but he saw a little more,

A greater menace faced them than that missile had in store;

If those deep sea bombs beside him were not thrown beneath the wave,

Every man aboard the Cassin soon would find a watery grave.

It was death for him to linger, but he figured if he ran

And quit his post of duty, 'twould be death for every man;

So he stood at his position, threw those depth bombs overboard,

And when that torpedo struck them, he went forth to meet his Lord.

Oh, I don't know how to say it, but these whole United States

Should remember Kelly Ingram—he who died to save his mates.

The Joy to Be

Oh, mother, be you brave of heart and keep

your bright eyes shining;

Some day the smiles of joy shall start and you

shall cease repining.

Beyond the dim and distant line the days of

peace are waiting,

When you shall have your soldier fine, and men

shall turn from hating.

Oh, mother, bear the pain a-while, as long ago

you bore it;

You suffered then to win his smile, and you

were happier for it;

And now you suffer once again, and bear your

weight of sorrow;

Yet you shall thrill with gladness when he wins

the glad to-morrow.

Oh, mother, when the cannons roar and all the

brave are fighting,

Remember that the son you bore the wrongs

of earth is righting;

Remember through the hours of pain that he

with all his brothers

Is battling there to win again a happy world

for mothers.

He Should Meet a Mother There

If he should meet a mother there

Along some winding Flanders road,

No extra touch of grief or care

He'll add unto her heavy load.

But he will kindly take her arm

And tender as her son will be;

He'll lead her from the path of harm

Because of me.

Be she the mother of his foe,

He will not speak to her in hate;

My boy will never stoop so low

As motherhood to desecrate.

But she shall know what once I knew—

Eyes that are glorious to see,

The light of manhood shining through—

Because of me.

He will salute her as they meet,

And stand before her bare of head;

If she be hungry, she may eat

His last remaining bit of bread.

She'll find those splendid arms and strong

Quick to assist her, tenderly,

And they will guard her from all wrong

Because of me.

I miss his thoughtful, loving care;

I miss his smile these dreary days;

But should he meet a mother there,

Helpless and lost in war's grim maze,

She need not fear to take his arm,

As though she'd reared him at her knee;

My son will shield her from all harm

Because of me.

A Father's Tribute

I don't know what they'll put him at, or what

his post may be;

I cannot guess the task that waits for him across

the sea,

But I have known him through the years, and

when there's work to do,

I know he'll meet his duty well, I'll swear that

he'll be true.

I sometimes fear that he may die, but never that

he'll shirk;

If death shall want him death must go and take

him at his work;

This splendid sacrifice he makes is filled with

terrors grim,

And I have many thoughts of fear, but not one

fear of him.

The foe may rob my life of joy, the foe may

take my all,

And desolate my days shall be if he shall have to


But this I know, whate'er may be the grief that

I must face,

Upon his record there will be no blemish of


His days have all been splendid days, there lies

no broken trust

Along the pathway of his youth to molder in

the dust;

Honor and truth have marked his ways, in him

I can be glad;

He is as fine and true a son as ever a father had.

Runner McGee

(Who had "Return if Possible" Orders.)

"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.

To-day 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


"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 on to 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.'"

The Girl He Left Behind

We used to think her frivolous—you know how

parents are,

A little quick to see the faults and petty flaws

that mar

The girl their son is fond of and may choose

to make his wife,

A little overjealous of the one who'd share his


But the girl he left behind him when he bravely

marched away

Has blossomed into beauty that we see and need


She was with us at the depot, and we turned our

backs a-while,

And her eyes were sad and misty, though she

tried her best to smile.

Then she put her arm round mother, and it

seemed to me as though

They just grew to love each other, for they

shared a common woe.

Now she often comes to see us, and it seems

to me we find

A heap of solid comfort in the girl he left behind.

"She's so sensible and gentle," mother said last

night to me,

"The kind of girl I've often wished and prayed

his wife would be.

And I like to have her near us, for she understands

my sighs

And I see my brave boy smiling when I look into

her eyes."

Now the presence of his sweetheart seems to fill

our home with joy.

She's no longer young and flighty—she's the

girl who loves our boy.

A Patriotic Creed

To serve my country day by day

At any humble post I may;

To honor and respect her Flag,

To live the traits of which I brag;

To be American in deed

As well as in my printed creed.

To stand for truth and honest toil,

To till my little patch of soil

And keep in mind the debt I owe

To them who died that I might know

My country, prosperous and free,

And passed this heritage to me.

I must always in trouble's hour

Be guided by the men in power;

For God and country I must live,

My best for God and country give;

No act of mine that men may scan

Must shame the name American.

To do my best and play my part,

American in mind and heart;

To serve the flag and bravely stand

To guard the glory of my land;

To be American in deed,

God grant me strength to keep this creed.

His Room

His room is as it used to be

Before he went away,

The walls still keep the pennants he

Brought home but yesterday.

The picture of his baseball team

Still holds its favored spot,

And oh, it seems a dreadful dream

This age of shell and shot!

His golf clubs in the corner stand;

His tennis racket, too,

That once the pressure of his hand

In times of laughter knew

Is in the place it long has kept

For us to look upon.

The room is as it was, except

The boy, himself, has gone.

The pictures of his girls are here,

Still smiling as of yore,

And everything that he held dear

Is treasured as before.

Into his room his mother goes

As usual, day by day,

And cares for it, although she knows

Our boy is far away.

We keep it as he left it, when

He bade us all good-bye,

Though I confess that, now and then,

We view it with a sigh.

For never night shall thrill with joy

Nor day be free from gloom

Until once more our soldier boy

Shall occupy his room.


It's a bigger thing you're doing than the most of us have done;

We have lived the days of pleasure; now the gray days have begun,

And upon your manly shoulders fall the burdens of the strife;

Yours must be the sacrifices of the trial time of life.

Oh, I don't know how to say it, but I'll never think of you

Without wishing I were sharing in the work you have to do.

I have never known a moment that was fraught with real care,

Save the hurts and griefs of sorrow that all mortals have to bear;

With the gay and smiling marchers I have tramped on pleasant ways,

And have paid with feeble service for the gladness of my days.

But to you has come a summons, yours are days of sacrifice,

And for all life has of sweetness you must pay a bitter price.

Men have fought and died before me, men must fight and die to-day,

I have merely taken pleasures for which others had to pay;

I have been a man of laughter, there's no path my feet have made,

I have merely been a marcher in life's gaudy dress parade.

But you wear the garb of service, you have splendid deeds to do,

You shall sound the depths of manhood, and my boy, I envy you.

For Your Boy and Mine

Your dream and my dream is not that we shall rest,

But that our children after us shall know life at its best;

For all we care about ourselves—a crust of bread or two,

A place to sleep and clothes to wear is all that we'd pursue.

We'd tramp the world on sunny days, both light of heart and mind,

And give no thought to days to come or days we leave behind.

Your dream and my dream is not that we shall play,

But that our children after us shall tread a merry way.

We brave the toil of life for them, for them we clamber high,

And if 'twould spare them hurt and pain, for them we'd gladly die.

If we had but ourselves to serve, we'd quit the ways of pride

And with the simplest joys of earth we'd all be satisfied.

The best for them is what we dream. Our little girls and boys

Must know the finest life can give of comforts and of joys.

They must be shielded well from woe and kept secure from care,

And if we could, upon our backs, their burdens we would bear.

And so once more we rise to-day to face the battle zone

That those who follow us may know the Flag that we have known.

Your dream and my dream is not that we shall live;

The greatest joys we hope to claim are those that we shall give.

We face the heat and strife of life, its battle and its toil

That those who follow us may know the best of freedom's soil.

And if we knew that by our death we'd keep that flag on high,

For your boy and my boy, how gladly we would die.


The glory of a soldier—and a soldier's not a saint—

Is the way he does his duty without grumbling or complaint;

His work's not always pleasant, but he does it rain or shine,

And he grabs a bit of glory when he's fighting in the line;

But the lesson that he teaches every day to me an' you

Is the way to do a duty that we do not like to do.

Any sort o' chap can whistle when his work is mostly fun;

A hundred want the pleasant jobs to every sturdy one

That'll grab the dreary duty an' the mean an' lowly task,

Or the drab an' cheerless service that life often has to ask;

But somebody has to do it, an' the test of me an' you

Is the way we face the labor that we do not like to do.

Now, it isn't very pleasant standin' guard out in the rain

But it's in the line o' duty, an' no soldier will complain,

An' there isn't any soldier but what sometimes hates his work

When the dress parade is over, an' perhaps he'd like to shirk,

But he's there to follow orders, not to pick an' choose his post,

An' he sometimes shines the finest at the job he hates the most.

Let's be soldiers in the struggle, let's be loyal through and through;

Life is going to give us duties that perhaps we'll hate to do.

There'll be little sacrifices that we will not like to make,

There'll be many tasks unpleasant that will fall to us to take.

An' although we all would rather do the work that brings applause,

Let's forget our whims and fancies an' just labor for the cause.

The Alarm

Get off your downy cots of ease,

There's work that must be done.

Great danger's riding on the seas.

The storm is coming on.

Don't think that it will quickly pass.

Who smiles at distant fate,

And waits until it strikes, alas!

Has roused himself too late.

Who thinks the fight will end before

The need of him arrives,

Is lengthening this brutal war

And costing many lives.

For over us that storm shall break

Ere many weeks have fled,

And we shall pay for our mistake

In fields of mangled dead.

Be ready when the foe shall near,

Be there to strike him hard;

Let us, though he be miles from here,

Be standing now on guard.

To-morrow's victories won't be won

By pluck that we display

To-morrow when the foe comes on,

But by our work to-day.

The Boy Enlists

His mother's eyes are saddened, and her cheeks

are stained with tears,

And I'm facing now the struggle that I've

dreaded through the years;

For the boy that was our baby has been changed

into a man.

He's enlisted in the army as a true American.

He held her for a moment in his arms before

he spoke,

And I watched him as he kissed her, and it

seemed to me I'd choke,

For I knew just what was coming, and I knew

just what he'd done!

'Another little mother had a soldier for a son.

When we'd pulled ourselves together, and the

first quick tears had dried,

We could see his eyes were blazing with the fire

of manly pride;

We could see his head was higher than it ever

was before,

For we had a man to cherish, and our baby was

no more.

Oh, I don't know how to say it! With the sorrow

comes the joy

That there isn't any coward in the make-up of

our boy.

And with pride our hearts are swelling, though

with grief they're also hit,

For the boy that was our baby has stepped

forth to do his bit,

The Mother Faith

Little mother, life's adventure calls your boy away,

Yet he will return to you on some brighter day;

Dry your tears and cease to sigh, keep your mother smile,

Brave and strong he will come back in a little while.

Little mother, heed them not—they who preach despair—

You shall have your boy again, brave and oh, so fair!

Life has need of him to-day, but with victory won,

Safely life shall bring to you once again your son.

Little mother, keep the faith: not to death he goes;

Share with him the joy of worth that your soldier knows.

He is giving to the Flag all that man can give,

And if you believe he will, surely he will live.

Little mother, through the night of his absence long,

Never cease to think of him—brave and well and strong;

You shall know his kiss again, you shall see his smile,

For your boy shall come to you in a little while.

Thoughts of a Soldier

Since men with life must purchase life

And some must die that more may live,

Unto the Great Cashier of strife

A fine accounting let me give.

Perhaps to-morrow I shall stand

Before his cage, prepared to buy

New splendor for my native land:

Oh, God, then bravely let me die!

If after I shall fall, shall rise

A fairer land than I have known,

I shall not grudge my sacrifice,

Although I pay the price alone.

If still more beautiful to see

The Stars and Stripes o'er men shall wave

And finer shall my country be,

To-morrow let me find my grave.

To-night life seems so fair and sweet,

Yet tyranny is stalking here,

And hate and lust and foul deceit

Hang heavy on the atmosphere.

Injustice seeks to throttle right,

And laughter's stifled to a sigh.

If death can take so great a blight

From human lives, then let me die.

If death must be the cost of life,

And freedom's terms are human souls,

Into the thickest of the strife

Then let me go to pay the tolls.

I would enrich my native land,

New splendor to her flag I'd give,

If where I fall shall freedom stand,

And where I die shall freedom live.

To-morrow death with me may trade;

Let me not quibble o'er the price;

But may I, once the bargain's made,

With courage meet the sacrifice.

If happiness for ages long

My little term of life can buy,

God, for my country make me strong;

To-morrow let me bravely die.

The Flag on the Farm

We've raised a flagpole on the farm

And flung Old Glory to the sky,

And it's another touch of charm

That seems to cheer the passer-by,

But more than that, no matter where

We're laboring in wood and field,

We turn and see it in the air,

Our promise of a greater yield.

It whispers to us all day long

From dawn to dusk: "Be true, be strong;

Who falters now with plough or hoe

Gives comfort to his country's foe."

It seems to me I've never tried

To do so much about the place,

Nor been so slow to come inside,

But since I've got the Flag to face,

Each night when I come home to rest

I feel that I must look up there

And say: "Old Flag, I've done my best,

To-day I've tried to do my share."

And sometimes, just to catch the breeze,

I stop my work, and o'er the trees

Old Glory fairly shouts my way:

"You're shirking far too much to-day!"

The help have caught the spirit, too;

The hired man takes off his cap

Before the old red, white and blue,

Then to the horses says: "Giddap!"

And starting bravely to the field

He tells the milkmaid by the door:

"We're going to make these acres yield

More than they've ever done before."

She smiles to hear his gallant brag,

Then drops a curtsey to the Flag,

And in her eyes there seems to shine

A patriotism that is fine.

'We've raised a flagpole on the farm

And flung Old Glory to the sky,

We're far removed from war's alarm,

But courage here is running high.

We're doing things we never dreamed

We'd ever find the time to do;

Deeds that impossible once seemed

Each morning now we hurry through.

The Flag now waves above our toil

And sheds its glory on the soil,

And boy and man look up to it

As if to say: "I'll do my bit!"

The Mother on the Sidewalk

The mother on the sidewalk as the troops are marching by

Is the mother of Old Glory that is waving in the sky.

Men have fought to keep it splendid, men have died to keep it bright,

But that flag was born of woman and her sufferings day and night;

'Tis her sacrifice has made it, and once more we ought to pray

For the brave and loyal mother of the boy that goes away.

There are days of grief before her, there are hours that she will weep,

There are nights of anxious waiting when her fear will banish sleep;

She has heard her country calling and has risen to the test,

And has placed upon the altar of the nation's need, her best.

And no man shall ever surfer in the turmoil of the fray

The anguish of the mother of the boy who goes away.

You may boast men's deeds of glory, you may tell their courage great,

But to die is easier service than alone to sit and wait,

And I hail the little mother, with the tear-stained face and grave

Who has given the Flag a soldier—she's the bravest of the brave.

And that banner we are proud of, with its red and blue and white

Is a lasting tribute holy to all mothers' love of right.

The Big Deeds

We are done with little thinking and we're done with little deeds,

We are done with petty conduct and we're done with narrow creeds;

We have grown to men and women, and we've noble work to do,

And to-day we are a people with a larger point of view.

In a big way we must labor, if our Flag shall always fly.

In a big way some must suffer, in a big way some must die.

There must be no little dreaming in the visions that we see,

There must be no selfish planning in the joys that are to be;

'We have set our faces eastwards to the rising of the sun

That shall light a better nation, and there's big work to be done.

And the petty souls and narrow, seeking only selfish gain,

Shall be vanquished by the toilers big enough to suffer pain.

It's a big task we have taken; 'tis for others we must fight.

We must see our duty clearly in a white and shining light;

We must quit our little circles where we've moved in little ways,

And work, as men and women, for the bigger, better days.

We must quit our selfish thinking and our narrow views and creeds.

And as people, big and splendid, we must do the bigger deeds.

The Wrist Watch Man

He is marching dusty highways and he's riding bitter trails,

His eyes are clear and shining and his muscles hard as nails.

He is wearing Yankee khaki and a healthy coat of tan,

And the chap that we are backing is the Wrist Watch Man.

He's no parlor dude, a-prancing, he's no puny pacifist,

And it's not for affectation there's a watch upon his wrist.

He's a fine two-fisted scrapper, he is pure American,

And the backbone of the nation is the Wrist Watch Man.

He is marching with a rifle, he is digging in a trench,

He is swapping English phrases with a poilu for his French;

You will find him in the navy doing anything he  can,

For at every post of duty is the Wrist Watch Man.

Oh, the time was that we chuckled at the soft and flabby chap

Who wore a little wrist watch that was fastened with a strap.

But the chuckles all have vanished, and with glory now we scan

The courage and the splendor of the Wrist Watch Man.

He is not the man we laughed at, not the one who won our jeers,

He's the man that we are proud of, he's the man that owns our cheers;

He's the finest of the finest, he's the bravest of the clan,

And I pray for God's protection for our Wrist Watch Man.

Follow the Flag

Aye, we will follow the Flag

Wherever she goes,

Into the tropic sun,

Into the northern snows;

Go where the guns ring out

Scattering steel and lead,

Painting the hills with blood,

Strewing the fields with dead.

But in each heart must be,

And back of each bitter gun,

Love for the best in life

After the fighting's done.

Aye, we will follow the Flag

Into benighted lands,

Brave in the faith for which,

Proudly, our banner stands.

Life for her life we'll pay,

Blood for her blood we'll give,

Fighting, but not to kill,

Save that the best shall live.

But, when the cannon's roar

Dies in a hymn of peace,

Justice and truth must reign,

Power of the brute must cease.

Aye, we will follow the Flag,

Gladly her work we'll do,

Banishing wrongs of old,

Founding the truth anew.

What though our guns must speak,

What though brave men must die,

Ages of truth to come

All this shall justify.

Men in the charms of peace,

Basking in Freedom's sun,

Some day shall bless our Flag

After our work is done.

Aye, we will follow the Flag

Wherever she goes,

Into the tropic sun,

Into the northern snows.

Fearlessly, on we'll go

Into the cruel strife,

Gladly the few shall die,

Winning for many, life.

Tyranny's wrongs must cease,

Brutes must no longer brag,

This is our work on earth,

So we will follow the Flag.

We've Had a Letter From the Boy

We've had a letter from the boy,

And oh, the gladness and the joy

It brought to us! We read it o'er

I'd say a dozen times or more.

We laughed until the teardrops fell

At all the fun he had to tell.

He's in the navy, wearing blue,

And everything is all so new

That he can see in youthful style

The funny things to make us smile.

He's working hard! Between the lines

We gather that. The brass he shines

Without complaining, and the food

He gets to eat is very crude.

And yet he laughs at all his chores.

He says the maid who scrubs our floors

Will have to quit when he returns

Unless a better way she learns.

"I've got it on the fairer sex,"

Says he, "since I am swabbing decks."

"A sailor's life, dear Mom," writes he,

"Is not the life you picked for me.

And yet I'm getting fat and strong

And learning as I go along

That any life a man can find

Is apt to grow to be a grind

Unless a fellow has the wit

To see the brighter side of it.

Don't worry for your sailor son;

He sleeps well when his work is done."

We've had a letter from the boy,

And oh, the gladness and the joy

It brought to us! 'Twas good to know

That he is facing duty so.

Between the lines that he had penned

His mother's bitter fears to end,

I saw his manhood glowing bright,

And now I know his heart is right.

Behind the laughter I could see

My boy's the man I'd hoped he'd be.


They have said you needn't go to the front to face the foe;

They have left you with jour women and your children safe at home;

They have spared you from the crash of the murderous guns that flash

And the horrors and the madness and the death across the foam.

But it's your fight, just the same, and your country still must claim

The splendor of your manhood and the best that you can do;

In a thousand different ways through the dark and troubled days,

You must stand behind the nation that has been so good to you.

You're exempt from shot and shell, from the havoc and the hell

That have robbed the world of gladness; you have missed the sterner fate

Of the brave young men and fine, that are falling into line,

You may stay among your children who are swinging on the gate.

But you're not exempt from love of the Flag that flies above,

You've a greater obligation to your country to be true;

You must work from day to day in a bigger, better way

For the glory of the nation that has been so good to you.

You are not exempt from trial, from long days of self-denial,

From devotion to your homeland and from courage in the test.

You are not exempt from giving to your country's needs and living

As a citizen and soldier—an example of the best.

You've a harder task before you than the boys who're fighting for you,

You must match their splendid courage and devotion through and through;

You must prove by fine endeavor, and by standing constant ever

That you're worthy of the country that has been so good to you.


We know not where the path may lead nor what the end may be,

The clouds are dark above us now, the future none can see,

And yet when all the storms have passed, and cannons cease to roar,

We shall be prouder of our flag than we have been before.

We could not longer idle stay, spectators of a wrong,

The weak were crying out for help against oppression strong;

And though we pray we may be spared the bitterness of strife,

'Twere better that we die than live the coward's feeble life.

We could not longer silent sit, our glory at an end,

And blind ourselves unto the wrongs committed by a friend;

We must be tolerant with all, yet in these days of hate,

Some things have happened that it would be shame to tolerate.

And now we stand before the world, erect and calm and grave,

And speak the words that decency must rule the land and wave;

Into the chaos of despair we fling ourselves to-day

As guardians of a precious trust hate must not sweep away.

We must rejoice, if we are men, not weak and soft of heart

That we have heeded duty's call, and taken up our part.

And when at last sweet peace shall come, and all the strife is o'er,

We shall be prouder of our flag than we have been before,

A Prayer

God grant to us the strength of men,

The patience of the brave;

The wisdom to be silent, when

The days with doubt are grave.

When dangers come, as come they must,

Throughout the trying hours

Let us continue still to trust

That triumph shall be ours.

We have foresworn our days of ease

To battle for the right,

To venture over troubled seas

Oppression's wrongs to fight.

And we have pledged ourselves to grief,

And bitter hurt and pain,

Then must we cling to this belief:

We suffer not in vain.

God grant to us the strength of men,

God help us to be true

Until that glorious morning when

The world shall smile anew.

We shall be tested sore and tried,

And flayed by many fears,

Yet let us in this faith abide,

That right shall rule the years.


One came to the house with a pretty speech:

"It's all for the best," said he,

And I know that he sought my heart to reach,

And I know that he grieved with me.

But I was too full of my sorrow then

To list to his words or care;

Though I've tried I cannot recall again

The comfort he gave me there.

But another came, and his lips were dumb

As he grasped me by the hand,

And he stammered: "Old man, I had to come,

Oh, I hope you'll understand."

And ever since then I have felt his hand

Clasped tightly in my own,

And to-day his silence I understand—

My sorrowing he had known.


They say we must not hate, nor fight in hate.

I've thought it over many a solemn hour,

And cannot mildly view the man or state

That has no thought, save only to be great;

I cannot love the creature drunk with power.

I hate the hand that slaughters babes at sea,

I hate that will that orders wives to die.

And there is something rises up in me

When brutes run wild in crime and lechery

That soft adjustments will not satisfy.

Men seldom fight the things they do not hate;

A vice grows strong on mildly tempered scorn;

Rank thrives the weed the gardeners tolerate;

You cannot stroke the snake that lies in wait,

And change his nature with to-morrow's morn.

If roses are to bloom, the weeds must go;

Vice be dethroned if virtue is to reign;

Honor and shame together cannot grow,

Sin either conquers or we lay it low,

Wrong must be hated if the truth remain.

I hold that we must fight this war in hate—

In bitter hate of blood in fury spilled;

Of children, bending over book and slate,

Slaughtered to make a Prussian despot great;

In hate of mothers pitilessly killed.

In hate of liars plotting wars for gain;

In hate of crimes too black for printed page;

In hate of wrongs that mark the tyrant's reign—

And crush forever all within his train.

Such hate shall be the glory of our age.

General Pershing

He isn't long on speeches. At the banquet table, he

Could name a dozen places where he would much rather be.

He's not one for fuss and feathers or for marching in review,

But he's busy every minute when he's got a job to do.

And you'll find him in the open, fighting hard and fighting square

For the glory of his country when his boys get over there.

He has listened to the cheering of the splendid folks of France,

And he knows that he's the leader of America's advance,

And he knows his task is mighty and that words will not avail,

So he's standing to his duty, for he isn't there to fail.

And you'll find him cool and steady when the guns begin to flare,

And he'll talk in deeds of glory when his boys get over there.

He has gone to face the fury of the Prussian hordes that sweep

O'er the fertile fields of Freedom, where the forms of heroes sleep,

And it seems no time for talking or for laughter or for cheers,

With the wounded all about him and their moaning in his ears.

He is waiting for to-morrow, waiting there to do his share,

And he'll strike a blow for freedom when his boys get over there.

The Better Thing

It is better to die for the flag,

For its red and its white and its blue,

Than to hang back and shirk and to lag

And let the flag sink out of view.

It is better to give up this life

In the heat and the thick of the strife

Than to live out your days 'neath a sky,

Where Old Glory shall never more fly.

The peace that we long for will be

Far worse than the war that we dread

If never again we're to see

The blue, and the white and the red

Wind-tossed and sun-kissed in the skies.

If ever the Stars and Stripes dies

Or loses its lustre and pride,

We shall wish in our souls we had died.

It is better by far that we die

Than that flag shall pass out of the world;

If ever it ceases to fly,

If ever it's hauled down and furled,

Dishonor shall stamp us with shame

And freedom be naught but a name,

And the few years of dearly-bought breath

Will be filled with worse horrors than death.

To a Lady Knitting

Little woman, hourly sitting,

Something for a soldier knitting,

What in fancy can you see?

Many pictures come to me

Through the stitch that now you're making:

I behold a bullet breaking;

I can see some soldier lying

In that garment slowly dying,

And that very bit of thread

In your fingers, turns to red.

Gray to-day; perhaps to-morrow

Crimsoned by the blood of sorrow.

It may be some hero daring

Shall that very thing be wearing

When he ventures forth to give

Life that other men may live.

He may braver wield the saber

As a tribute to your labor,

And for that, which you have knitted,

Better for his task be fitted.

When the thread has left your finger,

Something of yourself may linger,

Something of your lovely beauty

May sustain him in his duty.

Some one's boy that was a baby

Soon shall wear it, and it may be

He will write and tell his mother

Of the kindness of another,

And her spirit shall caress you,

And her prayers at night shall bless you.

You may never know its story,

Cannot know the grief or glory

That are destined now and hover

Over him your wool shall cover,

Nor what spirit shall invade it

Once your gentle hands have made it.

Little woman, hourly sitting,

Something for a soldier knitting,

'Tis no common garb you're making,

These, no common pains you're taking.

Something lovely, holy, lingers

O'er the needles in your fingers

And with every stitch you're weaving

Something of yourself you're leaving.

From your gentle hands and tender

There may come a nation's splendor,

And from this, your simple duty,

Life may win a fairer beauty.

A Good Soldier

He writes to us most every day, and how his letters thrill us!

I can't describe the joys with which his quaint expressions fill us.

He says the military life is not of his selection,

He's only soldiering to-day to give the Flag protection.

But since he's in the army now and doing duties humble,

He'll do what all good soldiers must, and he will never grumble.

He's not so keen for standing guard, a lonely vigil keeping,

"But when I must," he writes to us, "they'll never find me sleeping!

I hear a lot of boys complain about the tasks they set us

And there's no doubt that mother's meals can beat the ones they get us,

But since I'm here to do my bit, close to the job I'm sticking;

I'll take whatever comes my way and waste no word in kicking.

"I'd like to be a captain, dad, a major or a colonel,

I'd like to get my picture in some illustrated journal;

I don't exactly fancy jobs that now and then come my way,

Like picking bits of rubbish up that desecrate the highway.

But still I'll do those menial tasks as cheerfully as could one,

For while I am a private here I'm going to be a good one.

"A soldier's life is not the way I'd choose to make my living,

But now I'm in the ranks to serve, my best to it I'm giving.

Oh, I could name a dozen jobs that I'd consider finer,

But since I've got this one to do I'll never be a whiner.

I'm just a private in the ranks, but take it from my letter,

They'll never fire your son for one who'll do his duty better."

His Santa Claus

He will not come to him this year with all his old-time joy,

An imitation Santa Claus must serve his little boy;

Last year he heard the reindeers paw the roof above his head,

And as he dreamed the kindly saint tip-toed about his bed,

But Christmas Eve he will not come by any happy chance;

This year his kindly Santa Claus must guard a trench in France.

His mother bravely tries to smile; last Christmas Eve was gay;

Last Christmas morn his daddy rose at dawn with him to play;

This year he'll hang his stocking by the chimney, but the hands

That filled it with the joys he craved now serve in foreign lands.

He is too young to understand his mother's troubled glance,

But he that was his Santa Claus is in a trench in France.

Somewhere in France this Christmas Eve a soldier brave will be,

And all that night in fancy he will trim a Christmas tree;

And all that night he'll live again the joys that once he had

When he was good St. Nicholas unto a certain lad.

And he will wonder if his boy, by any sad mischance,

Will find his stocking empty just because he serves in France.

Show the Flag

Show the flag and let it wave

As a symbol of the brave;

Let it float upon the breeze

As a sign for each who sees

That beneath it, where it rides,

Loyalty to-day abides.

Show the flag and signify

That it wasn't born to die;

Let its colors speak for you

That you still are standing true,

True in sight of God and man

To the work that flag began.

Show the flag that all may see

That you serve humanity.

Let it whisper to the breeze

That comes singing through the trees

That whatever storms descend

You'll be faithful to the end.

Show the flag and let it fly,

Cheering every passer-by—Men

that may have stepped aside,

May have lost their old-time pride,

May behold it there, and then

Consecrate themselves again.

Show the flag! The day is gone

When men blindly hurry on

Serving only gods of gold;

Now the spirit that was cold

Warms again to courage fine.

Show the flag and fall in line!

The Honor Roll

The boys upon the honor roll, God bless them all, I pray!

God watch them when they sleep at night, and guard them through the day.

We've stamped their names upon our walls, the list in glory grows,

Our brave boys and our splendid boys who stand to meet our foes.

Oh, here are sons of mothers fair and fathers fine and true,

The little ones of yesterday, the children that we knew;

We thought of them as youngsters gay, still laughing at their games,

And then we found the honor roll emblazoned with their names.

We missed their laughter and their cheer; it seems but yesterday

We had them here to walk with us, and now they've marched away.

And here where once their smiles were seen we keep a printed scroll;

The absent boy we long to see is on the honor roll.

So quickly did the summons come we scarcely marked the change,

One day life marched its normal pace, the next all things seemed strange,

And when we questioned where they were, the sturdiest of us all,

We saw the silent honor roll on each familiar wall.

The laughter that we knew has gone; the merry voice of youth

No longer rings where graybeards sit, discussing sombre truth.

No longer jests are flung about to rouse our weary souls,

For they who meant so much to us are on our honor rolls.

The Princess Pats

A touch of the plain and the prairie,

A bit of the Motherland, too;

A strain of the fur-trapper wary,

A blend of the old and the new;

A bit of the pioneer splendor

That opened the wilderness' flats,

A touch of the home-lover, tender,

You'll find in the boys they call Pats.

The glory and grace of the maple,

The strength that is born of the wheat,

The pride of a stock that is staple,

The bronze of a midsummer heat;

A blending of wisdom and daring,

The best of a new land, and that's

The regiment gallantly bearing

The neat little title of Pats.

A bit of the man who has neighbored

With mountains and forests and streams,

A touch of the man who has labored

To model and fashion his dreams;

The strength of an age of clean living,

Of right-minded fatherly chats,

The best that a land could be giving

Is there in the breasts of the Pats.

July the Fourth, 1917

Time was the cry went round the world:

America for freedom speaks,

A new flag is to-day unfurled,

An eagle on the mountain shrieks,

A king is failing on his throne,

A race of men defies his power!

And no one could have guessed or known

The burden of that splendid hour.

A bell rang out that summer day

And men and women stood and heard;

That tongue of brass had more to say

Than could be spoken by a word.

It spoke the thoughts of honest men,

It whispered Destiny's intents

And rang a warning loudly then

To Kings of all the continents.

The old bell in its holy loft

Where pigeons nest, has ceased to swing

And yet through many a day and oft

A weary people hear it sing.

That hour long years ago, when first

America for freedom fought,

The bonds of slavery were burst:

That hour began the reign of thought.

Here comes another summer day:

America is on the sea,

America has dared to say

That other people shall be free.

No selfish stain her banner mars,

Her flag, for truth and right, unfurled,

With every stripe and all its stars

Still speaks its message to the world

Out where the soldiers fight for men,

Out where, for others, heroes die,

Out where they storm the Tyrant's den,

The Starry Banner lights the sky.

And once again the cry goes out

That brings the flush of hope to cheeks

Grown pale by bitter war and doubt:

"America for Freedom speaks."

Spring in the Trenches

It's coming time for planting in that little patch of ground,

Where the lad and I made merry as he followed me around;

The sun is getting higher, and the skies above are blue,

And I'm hungry for the garden, and I wish the war were through.

But it's tramp, tramp, tramp,

And it's never look behind,

And when you see a stranger's kids,

Pretend that you are blind.

The spring is coming back again, the birds begin to mate;

The skies are full of kindness, but the world is full of hate.

And it's I that should be bending now in peace above the soil,

With laughing eyes and little hands about to bless the toil.

But it's fight, fight, fight,

And it's charge at double-quick;

A soldier thinking thoughts of home

Is one more soldier sick.

Last year I brought the bulbs to bloom and saw the roses bud;

This year I'm ankle deep in mire, and most of it is blood.

Last year the mother in the door was glad as she could be;

To-day her heart is full of pain, and mine is hurting me.

But it's shoot, shoot, shoot,

And when the bullets hiss,

Don't let the tears fill up your eyes,

For weeping soldiers miss.

Oh, who will tend the roses now and who will sow the seeds?

And who will do the heavy work the little garden needs?

And who will tell the lad of mine the things he wants to know,

And take his hand and lead him round the paths we used to go?

For it's charge, charge, charge,

And it's face the foe once more;

Forget the things you love the most

And keep your mind on war.

Bigger Than His Dad

He has heard his country calling, and has fallen into line,

And he's doing something bigger than his daddy ever did;

He has caught a greater vision than the finest one of mine,

And I know to-day I'm prouder of than sorry for the kid.

His speech is soft and vibrant with the messages of truth,

And he says some things of duty that I cannot understand;

It may be that I'm selfish, but this ending of his youth

Is not the dream I cherished and it's not the thing I planned.

I only know he's bigger in his uniform to-day

Than I, who stand and watch him as he drills, have ever been;

That he sees a greater vision of life's purpose far away,

And a finer goal to die for than my eyes have ever seen.

I wish I felt as he does, wish I had his sense of right;

With the vision he possesses I should be supremely glad;

But I sometimes start to choking when I think of him at night—

The boy that has grown bigger, yes, and better than his dad.

The Boy's Adventure

"Dear Father," he wrote me from Somewhere in France,

Where he's waiting with Pershing to lead the advance,

"There's little the censor permits me to tell

Save the fact that I'm here and am happy and well.

The French people cheered as we marched from our ship

At the close of a really remarkable trip;

They danced and they screamed and they shouted and ran,

And I blush as I write. I was kissed by a man!

"I've seen a great deal since I bade you good-bye,

I have witnessed a battle far up in the sky;

I have heard the dull roar of a long line of guns,

And seen the destruction that's worked by the Huns;

Some scenes I'll remember, and some I'll forget,

But the welcome he gave me! I'm feeling it yet.

Oh, try to imagine your boy if you can,

As he looked and he felt, being kissed by a man!

"'Ah, Meestaire!' he cried in a voice that was shrill,

And his queer little eyes with delight seemed to fill,

And before I was wise to the custom, or knew

Just what he was up to, about me he threw

His arms, and he hugged me, and then with a squeak,

He planted a chaste little kiss on each cheek.

He was stocky and strong and his whiskers were tan.

Now please keep it dark. I've been kissed by a man."

Out of It All

Out of it all shall come splendor and gladness;

Out of the madness and out of the sadness,

Clearer and finer the world shall arise.

Why then keep sorrow and doubt in your eyes?

Joy shall be ours when the warfare is over;

Children shall gleefully romp in the clover;

Here with our heroes at home and at rest,

We shall rejoice with the world at its best.

Not in vain, not in vain, is our bright banner flying;

Not for naught are the sons of our fond mothers dying;

The gloom and despair are not ever to last;

The world shall be better when they shall have passed.

So mourn not his absence, but smile and be brave;

You shall have him again from the brink of the grave

In a wonderful world 'neath a wonderful sun;

He shall come to your arms with his victory won.

The Christmas Box

Oh, we have shipped his Christmas box with ribbons red 'tis tied,

And he shall find the things he likes from them he loves inside,

But he must miss the kisses true and all the laughter gay

And he must miss the smiles of home upon his Christmas Day.

He'll spend his Christmas 'neath the Flag; he'll miss each merry face,

Old Glory smiling down on him must take his mother's place,

Yet in the Christmas box we've sent, in fancy he will find

The laughter and the tears of joy that he has left behind.

His mother's tenderness is there, his father's kindly way,

And all that went last year to make his merry Christmas Day;

He'll see once more his sister's smile, he'll hear the baby shout,

And as he opens every gift we'll gather round about.

He cannot come to share with us the joys of Christmas Day;

The Flag has called to him, and he is serving far away.

Undaunted, unafraid and fine he stands to duty grim,

And so this Christmas we have tried to ship ourselves to him.

A Plea

God grant me these: the strength to do

Some needed service here;

The wisdom to be brave and true;

The gift of vision clear,

That in each task that comes to me

Some purpose I may plainly see.

God teach me to believe that I

Am stationed at a post,

Although the humblest 'neath the sky,

Where I am needed most,

And that, at last, if I do well,

My humble services will tell.

God grant me faith to stand on guard,

Uncheered, unspoke, alone,

And see behind such duty hard

My service to the throne.

Whate'er my task, be this my creed:

I am on earth to fill a need.

Your Country Needs You

The country needs a man like you,

It has a task for you to do.

It has a job for you to face.

Somewhere for you it has a place.

Not all the slackers dodge the work

Of service where the cannon lurk,

Not all the slackers on life's stage

Are boys of military age.

The old, the youthful and unfit

Must also do their little bit.

The country needs a man like you,

'Twill suffer if you prove untrue.

What though you cannot bear a gun?

That isn't all that's to be done.

There are a thousand other ways

To serve your country through the days

Of trial and the nights of storm.

You need not wear a uniform

Or with the men in council sit

To serve the Flag and do your bit.

Somewhere for you there is a place,

Somewhere you have a task to face.

There's none so helpless or so frail

That cannot, when our foes assail,

In some way help our common cause

And be deserving of applause.

Behind the Flag we all must be,

Each at his post, awake to see

That in so far as he has striven,

His best was to his country given.

You can be patient, brave and strong,

And not complain when plans go wrong;

You can be cheerful at your toil,

Or till, perhaps, some patch of soil;

You can encourage others who

Have heavier, greater tasks to do;

You can be loyal, not in creed

Alone, but in each thought and deed;

You can make sacrifices, too.

The country needs a man like you,

A Creed

To keep in mind from day to day

That I'm a soldier in the fray;

That I must serve, from sun to sun,

As well as he who bears a gun

The flag that flies above us all,

And answer well my Country's call.

I must not for one hour forget

Unto the Stars and Stripes my debt.

'Twas spotless on' my day of birth,

And when at last I quit this earth

Old Glory still must spotless be

For all who follow after me.

At some post where my work will fit

I must with courage do my bit;

Some portion of myself I'd give

That freedom and the Flag may live.

And in some way I want to feel

That I am doing service real.

I must in all I say and do

Respect the red, the white and blue',

Nor dim with petty deeds of shame

The splendor of Old Glory's fame;

I must not let my standards drag,

For my disgrace would stain the Flag.

The Struggle

Life is a struggle for peace,

A longing for rest,

A hope for the battles to cease,

A dream for the best;

And he is not living who stays

Contented with things,

Unconcerned with the work of the days

And all that it brings.

He is dead who sees nothing to change,

No wrong to make right;

Who travels no new way or strange

In search of the light;

Who never sets out for a goal

That he sees from afar

But contents his indifferent soul

With things as they are.

Life isn't rest—it is toil;

It is building a dream;

It is tilling a parcel of soil

Or bridging a stream;

It's pursuing the light of a star

That but dimly we see,

And in wresting from things as they are

The joy that should be.

As It Looks to the Boy

His comrades have enlisted, but his mother bids him stay,

His soul is sick with coward shame, his head hangs low to-day,

His eyes no longer sparkle, and his breast is void of pride

And I think that she has lost him though she's kept him at her side.

Oh, I'm sorry for the mother, but I'm sorrier for the lad

Who must look on life forever as a hopeless dream and sad.

He must fancy men are sneering as they see him walk the street,

He will feel his cheeks turn crimson as his eyes another's meet;

And the boys and girls that knew him as he was but yesterday,

Will not seem to smile upon him, in the old familiar way.

He will never blame his mother, but when he's alone at night,

His thoughts will flock to tell him that he isn't doing right.

Oh, I'm sorry for the mother from whose side a boy must go,

And the strong desire to keep him that she feels, I think I know,

But the boy that she's so fond of has a life to live on earth,

And he hungers to be busy with the work that is of worth.

He will sicken and grow timid, he'll be flesh without a heart

Until death at last shall claim him, if he doesn't do his part.

Have you kept him, gentle mother? Has he lost his old-time cheer?

Is he silent, sad and sullen? Are his eyes no longer clear?

Is he growing weak and flabby who but yesterday was strong?

Then a secret grief he's nursing and I'll tell you what is wrong.

All his comrades have departed on their country's noblest work,

And he hungers to be with them—it is not his wish to shirk.

Fly a Clean Flag

This I heard the Old Flag say

As I passed it yesterday:

"Months ago your friendly hands

Fastened me on slender strands

And with patriotic love

Placed me here to wave above

You and yours. I heard you say

On that long departed day:

'Flag of all that's true and fine,

Wave above this house of mine;

Be the first at break of day

And the last at night to say

To the world this word of cheer:

Loyalty abideth here.'

"Here on every wind that's blown,

O'er your" portal I have flown;

Rain and snow have battered me,

Storms at night have tattered me;

Dust of street and chimney stack

Day by day have stained me black,

And I've watched you passing there,

Wondering how much you care.

Have you noticed that your flag,

Is to-day a wind-blown rag?

Has your love so careless grown

By the long neglect you've shown

That you never raise your eye

To the symbol that you fly?"

"Flag, on which no stain has been,

'Tis my sin that you're unclean,"

Then I answered in my shame.

"On my head must lie the blame.

Now with patriotic hands

I release you from your strands,

And a spotless flag shall fly

Here to greet each passer-by.

Nevermore shall Flag of mine

Be a sad and sorry sign

Telling all who look above

I neglect the thing I love.

But my Flag of faith shall be

Fit for every eye to see."

To a Kindly Critic

If it's wrong to believe in the land that we love

And to pray for Our Flag to the good God above;

If it's wrong to believe that Our Country is best;

That honor's her standard, and truth is her crest;

If placing her first in our prayers and our song

Is false to true reason, we're glad to be wrong.

If it's wrong to wish victory day after day

For the troops of Our Country now marching away;

If it's wrong to believe they are moved by the right

And not by the love and the lure of the fight;

If to cheer them to battle and bid them be strong

Is false to right thinking, then let us be wrong.

If it's wrong to believe in America's dreams

Of a freedom on earth that's as real as it seems;

If it's error to cherish the hope, through and through,

That the Stars in Old Glory's immaculate blue

Shall shine through the ages, true beacons to men,

We pray that no right phrase shall flow from our pen.

War's Homecoming

We little thought how much they meant—the bleeding hearts of France,

And British mothers wearing black to mark some troop's advance,

The war was, O, so distant then, the grief so far away,

We couldn't see the weeping eyes, nor hear the women pray.

We couldn't sense the weight of woe that rested on that land,

But now our boy is called to go—to-day, we understand.

There, some have heard the blackest news that o'er the wires has sped,

And some are living day by day beneath the clouds of dread;

Some fear the worst; some know the worst, but every heart is chilled,

And every soul is sorrow touched and laughter there is stilled.

There, old folks sit alone and grieve and pray for peace to come,

And now our little boy has heard the summons of the drum.

Their grief was such a distant thing, we made it fruit for speech.

We never thought in days of old such pain our hearts would reach.

We talked of it, as people do of sorrow far aloof,

Nor dreamed such care would ever dwell beneath our happy roof.

But England's woes are ours to-day, we share the sighs of France;

Our little boy is on the sea with Death to take his chance.

Next of Kin

I notice when the news comes in

Of one who's claimed eternal glory,

This simple phrase, "the next of kin,"

Concludes the soldier's final story.

This tells the world what voice will choke,

What heart that bit of shrapnel broke,

What father or what mother brave

Will think of Flanders as a grave.

"The next of kin," the cable cold

Wastes not a precious word in telling,

Yet cannot you and I behold

The sorrow in some humble dwelling,

And cannot you and I perceive

The brave yet lonely mother grieve

And picture, when that news comes in,

The anguish of "the next of kin?"

For every boy in uniform,

Another soldier brave is fighting;

A double rank the cannons storm,

Two lines the cables are uniting,

And with the hurt each soldier feels,

At home the other warrior reels;

Two suffer, freedom's cause to win:

The soldier and "the next of kin."

Oh, next of kin, be brave, be strong,

As brave as was the boy that's missing;

The years will many be and long

That you will hunger for his kissing.

Yet he enlisted you with him

To share war's bitter price and grim;

Your service runs through many years

Because your name with his appears.

See It Through

There are many to cheer when the battle begins

There are many to shout for the right;

There are many to rail at the world and its sins

But few have the grit for the fight.

There are thousands to start with a rush for the fray

When the fighting seems easy to do,

But when danger is present and rough is the way,

The few have to see the job through.

It is easy to quit with a battle unwon,

It is hard to press on to success;

It is easy to stop with a purpose undone,

It is hard to encounter distress.

And many will march when the roadway is clear

And the glorious goal is in view,

But the many, too often, when dangers appear,

Aren't willing to see the fight through.

They weaken in spirit when trials grow great,

They flinch at the clashing of steel;

They talk of the strength of the foe at the gate

And whine at the hurts that they feel.

They begin to regret having ventured for right,

They sigh that they dared to be true,

They haven't the heart they once had for the fight,

They don't want to see the job through.

We have set out to battle for justice and truth,

We have fearful disasters to meet;

We shall weep for the best of our manliest youth,

We shall suffer the pangs of defeat.

But let us stand firm for the cause that we plead,

Let the many be brave with the few;

The cry of the quitter let none of us heed

Till we've done what we started to do.


Mine is a song of hope

For the days that lie before;

For the grander things

The morrow brings

When the struggle days are o'er.

Dark be the clouds to-day,

Bitter the winds that blow,

But falter nor fail,

Through the howling gale—

Comes peace in the afterglow.

Mine is the song of hope,

A song for the mother here,

Who lulls to rest

The babe at breast,

And hopes for a brighter year.

Hope is the song she sings,

Hope is the prayer she prays;

As she rocks her boy,

She dreams of the joy

He'll bring in the future days.

Mine is the song of hope,

A song for the father, too,

Whose right arm swings,

While his anvil sings

A song of the journey through.

Hope is the star that guides,

Hope is the father's sun;

Far ahead he sees,

Through the waving trees,

Sweet peace when his work is done.

Mine is the song of hope,

Of hope that sustains us all;

Be we young or old,

Be we weak or bold,

Do we falter or even fall,

Brightly the star of hope

From the distance is shining still;

And with courage new

We rise to do,

For hope is the God of Will.

The Gold Givers

Oh, some shall stand in glory's light when all the strife is done,

And many a mother there shall say, "For truth I gave my son!"

But I shall stand in silence then and hear the stories brave,

For I must answer at the last that gold is all I gave.

When all this age shall pass away, and silenced are the guns,

When sweethearts join their loves again, and mothers kiss their sons,

When brave unto the brave return, and all they did is told,

How pitiful my gift shall seem, when all I gave is gold.

When we are asked what did you then, when all the world was red,

And some shall say, "I fell in France," and some, "I mourned my dead;"

With all the brave assembled there in glory long to live,

How trivial our lives shall seem who had but gold to give.

The Undaunted

He tried to travel No Man's Land, that's guarded well with guns,

He tried to race the road of death, where never a coward runs.

Now he's asking of his doctor, and he's panting hard for breath,

How soon he will be ready for another bout with death.

You'd think if you had wakened in a shell hole's slime and mud

That was partly dirty water, but was mostly human blood,

And you had to lie and suffer till the bullets ceased to hum

And the night time dropped its cover, so the stretcher boys could come—

You'd think if you had suffered from a fever and its thirst,

And could hear the "rapids" spitting and the high explosives burst,

And had lived to tell that story—you could face our fellow men

In the little peaceful village, though you never fought again.

You'd think that once you'd fallen in the shrapnel's deadly rain,

Once you'd shed your blood for honor, you had borne your share of pain;

Once you'd traveled No Man's country, you'd be satisfied to quit

And be invalided homeward, and could say you'd done your bit.

But he's lying, patched and bandaged, very white and very weak,

And he's trying to be cheerful, though it's agony to speak;

He is pleading with the doctor, though he's panting hard for breath,

To return him to the trenches for another bout with death.

The Discovery of a Soul

The proof of a man is the danger test,

That shows him up at his worst or best.

He didn't seem to care for work, he wasn't much at school.

His speech was slow and commonplace—you wouldn't call him fool.

And yet until the war broke out you'd calmly pass him by,

For nothing in his make-up or his way would catch your eye.

He seemed indifferent to the world, the kind that doesn't care—

That's satisfied with just enough to eat and drink and wear;

That doesn't laugh when others do or cry when others weep,

But seems to walk the wakeful world half dormant and asleep;

Then came the war, and soldiers marched and drums began to roll,

And suddenly we realized his body held a soul.

We little dreamed how much he loved his Country and her Flag;

About the glorious Stars and Stripes we'd never heard him brag.

But he was first to volunteer, while brilliant men demurred,

He took the oath of loyalty without a faltering word,

And then we found that he could talk, for one remembered night,

There came a preaching pacifist denouncing men who fight,

And he got up in uniform and looked at him and said:

"I wonder if you ever think about our soldiers dead.

All that you are to-day you owe some soldier in his grave;

If he had been afraid to fight, you still would be a slave."

If he had died a year ago beneath a peaceful sky,

Unjust our memory would have been; of him our tongues would lie.

We should have missed his splendid worth, we should have called him frail

And listed him among the weak and sorry men who fail.

But few regrets had marked his end; he would have passed unmourned—

Perhaps by those who knew him best, indifferently scorned.

But now he stands among us all, eyes bright and shoulders true,

A strong defender of the faith; a man with work to do;

And if he dies, his name shall find its place on history's scroll;

The great chance has revealed to men the splendor of his soul.

Here We Are!

Here we are, Britain! the finest and best of us

Taking our coats off and rolling our sleeves,

Answering the thoughtless that once made a jest of us,

Each man a soldier for what he believes.

Here we are, tight little island, in unity!

Tell us the job that you want us to do!

You can depend on us all with impunity.

Give us a task and we'll all see it through.

Here we are, France! every Yankee born man of us

Coming to stand by your side in the fight;

Liberty's cause makes a whole-hearted clan of us.

Here we are, willing to die for the right.

Silently, long from our shores we've admired you,

Secretly proud of the pluck you've displayed.

Brothers we are of the love that inspired you;

Now we are coming, full front, to your aid.

Here we are, Allies! make room in your trenches!

Shoulder to shoulder we'll share in each drive.

Here we are! quitting our lathes and our benches,

Bringing our best that our best shall survive.

Here we are! Liberty's children, red-blooded,

Coming to share in the struggle with you,

Ready to die for the Flag that's star-studded;

Tell us the work that you want us to do.

What is it, fighting or building you're needing?

Boring a mountain or bridging a stream,

Steel work and real work? Your call we are heeding.

Each of us here is a man with a dream.

Here we are! tacklers of tough jobs and dangers,

Any old post where you put us we'll fit;

Coming to serve you as brothers, not strangers;

Here we are, Allies! to offer our bit!

We Who Stay at Home

When you were just our little boy, on many a night we crept

Unto your cot and watched o'er you, and all the time you slept.

We tucked the covers round your form and smoothed your pillow, too,

And sometimes stooped and kissed your cheeks, but that you never knew.

Just as we came to you back then through many a night and day,

Our spirits now shall come to you—to kiss and watch and pray.

Whenever you shall look away into God's patch of sky

To think about the folks at home, we shall be standing by.

And as we prayed and watched o'er you when you were wrapped in sleep,

So through your soldier danger now the old-time watch we'll keep.

You will not know that we are there, you will not see or hear,

But all the time in prayer and thought we shall be very near.

The world has made of you a man; the work of man you do,

But unto us you still remain the baby that we knew;

And we shall come, as once we did, on wondrous wings of prayer,

And you will never know how oft in spirit we are there.

We'll stand beside your bed at night, in silence bending low,

And all the love we gave you then shall follow where you go.

Oh, we were proud of you back then, but we are prouder now;

We see the stamp of splendor God has placed upon your brow,

And we who are the folks at home shall pray the old time prayer,

And ask the God of Mercy to protect you with His care.

And as we came to you of old, although you never knew,

The hearts of us, each day and night, shall come with love to you.

Do Your All

"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.

The Future

"The worst is yet to come:"

So wail the doubters glum,

But here's the better view:

"My best I've yet to do."

The worst some always fear;

To-morrow holds no cheer,

Yet farther on life's lane

Are joys you shall attain.

Go forward bravely, then,

And play your part as men,

For this is ever true:

"Our best we've yet to do."

A Father's Prayer

I sometimes wonder when I read the sorrow in his face

If I shall wear that look of care when time has marched apace?

My little boy is five years old and his is twenty-one;

My little boy is home with me; his boy to war has gone.

And I can laugh and dance with life, and I can gayly jest,

But heavy is the heart to-day that beats within his breast.

Time was, his boy was five years old; time was he smiled as I;

I wonder what awaits for me when youth has journeyed by?

Last night I sat at home and watched my little boy at play,

And all the time I thought of him whose boy has gone away.

And in the joy that I possessed I prayed in silence then

That God would quickly bring him back his little boy again.

The Glory of Age

"What is the glory of age?" I said,

"A hoard of gold and a few dear friends?

When you've reached the day that you look ahead

And see the place where your journey ends,

When Time has robbed you of youthful might—

What is the secret of your delight?"

And an old man smiled as he answered me:

"The glory of age isn't gold or friends,

When we've reached the valley of Soon-To-Be

And note the place where our journey ends;

The glory of age, be it understood,

Is a boy out there who is making good.

"The greatest joy that can come to man

When his sight is dim and his hair is gray;

The greatest glory that God can plan

To cheer the lives of the old to-day,

When they share no more in the battle yell,

Is a boy out there who is doing well."

Beautifying the Flag

To us the Flag has little meant.

Each glorious stripe of red

Was woven there to represent

The blood of heroes dead.

On some dim, distant battle line

By other men were gained

The glories that have made it fine,

And idle we've remained.

But now the Flag shall finer grow

And ages yet to be

Shall find the courage that we show

To-day for liberty.

Of other men the Flag has told;

It flies for others' deeds;

Its pride is born of heroes bold

Who served its by-gone needs.

But now our blood shall mingle there

With blood of patriots dead,

And through the years each stripe shall wear

A deeper, truer red.

The splendor of the flag shall gleam

In every radiant star,

And finer shall the banner seem

Because of what we are.

To-day new glory for the Flag

We give our best to build;

Of us shall future ages brag,

By us their blood be thrilled;

And as to us the flag has meant

The greatness of the past,

The Stars and Stripes shall represent

Our courage to the last.

The children in the years to be

Our trials shall discuss,

And cheer the emblem of the free,

In part, because of us.

To the Men at Home

No war is won by cannon fire alone;

The soldier bears the grim and dreary role;

He dies to serve the Flag that he has known;

His duty is to gain the distant goal.

But if the toiler in his homeland fair

Falter in faith and shrink from every test,

If he be not on duty ever there,

Lost to the cause is every soldier's best.

The men at home, the toiler in the shop,

The keen-eyed watcher of the spinning drill

Hear no command to vault the trench's top;

They know not what it is to die or kill,

And yet they must be brave and constant, too.

Upon them lies their precious country's fate;

They also serve the Flag as soldiers do,

'Tis theirs to make a nation's army great.

You hold your country's honor in your care.

Her glory you shall help to make or mar;

For they, who now her uniforms must wear

Can be no braver soldiers than you are.

From day to day, in big and little deeds,

At bench or lathe or desk or stretch of soil,

You are the man your country sorely needs!

Will you not give to her your finest toil?

No war is won by cannon fire alone.

The men at home must also share the fight.

By what they are, a nation's strength is shown,

The army but reflects their love of right.

Will you not help to hold our battle line,

Will you not give the fullest of your powers

In sacrifice and service that is fine

That victory shall speedily be ours?

From Laughter to Labor

We have wandered afar in our hunting for pleasure,

We have scorned the soul's duty to gather up treasure;

We have lived for our laughter and toiled for our winning

And paid little heed to the soul's simple sinning.

But light were the burdens that freighted us then,

God and country, to-day let us prove we are men!

We have idled and dreamed in life's merriest places,

The years have writ little of care in our faces;

We have brought up our children, expectant of gladness,

And little we've taught them of life and its sadness.

For distant and dim seemed the forces of wrong,

God and country, to-day let us prove we are strong!

We have had our glad years, now the sad years are coming,

We have danced to gay tunes, now we march to war's drumming.

We have laughed and have loved as we pleasantly toiled,

And now we must show that our souls are unspoiled.

We must work that our Flag shall in honor still wave,

God and country, to-day let us prove we are brave!


Forgotten petty difference now,

The larger purpose glows,

The storm is here, a common fear

Its deadly lightning shows.

The Ship of State must bear us all

And danger makes us kin,

As one, we all shall rise or fall,

So shall we strive to win.

Our banner's flying at the mast,

Our course lies straight ahead;

The ocean's trough is deep and rough,

The waves are stained with red.

The bond of danger tighter grows,

We serve a common plan;

Send o'er the sea the word that we

Are all American.

One hundred million sturdy souls

Once more united stand,

As one, you will find them all behind

The banner of our land.

And side by side they work to-day

In silken garb or rag,

And once again our troops of men

Are brothers of the flag.

And from the storm that hovers low,

And from the angry sea

Where dangers lurk and hate's at work.

Shall come new victory.

The flag shall know not race nor creed,

Nor different bands of men;

A people strong round it shall throng

To ne'er divide again.

April Thoughts

Listen to the laughter of the brook that's racin' by!

Listen to the chatter of the black-birds on the fence!

Stand an' see the beauties of the blue that's in the sky—

Then ask of God why mortals haven't any better sense

Than to quarrel an' to battle

Where the guns an' cannon rattle

An' to slaughter one another an' to fill the world with hate.

God brings the buds to blossom

Where the gentle breezes toss 'em

An' the soul is blind to beauty that takes anger for its mate.

Listen to the singin' of the robins in the trees!

See the sunbeams flashin' where they're mirrored by the stream!

Hear the drowsy buzzin' of the honey-seekin' bees,

Then draw a little closer to your God the while you dream.

When the world is dressed to cheer you

Don't you feel Him standin' near you?

When your soul drinks in the beauty of the wonders in His plan,

An' you've put away your passions,

Don't you think the works He fashions

In their beauty an' their bigness mock the littleness of man?

Oh, I never walk an orchard nor a field with daisies strewn,

An' I never stand bare-headed gazin' everywhere about

At the living joys around me, be it morning, night or noon,

But I ask God to forgive me that I ever held a doubt.

Surely men must walk in blindness,

With the whole world tuned to kindness,

An' all dumb an' feathered creatures fairly bubblin' o'er with glee

To devote themselves to madness

That can only end in sadness

An' to think that they are being what God put them here to be.

The Chaplain

He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, and he

Looked and dressed and acted like all parsons that we see.

He wore the cleric's broadcloth and he hooked his vest behind,

But he had a man's religion and he had a strong man's mind,

And he heard the call to duty, and he quit his church and went,

And he bravely tramped right with 'em everywhere the boys were sent.

He put aside his broadcloth and he put the khaki on;

Said he'd come to be a soldier and was going to live like one.

Then he refereed the prize fights that the boys pulled off at night,

And if no one else was handy he'd put on the gloves and fight.

He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the soldiers' needs,

And he said: "I'm done with preaching; this is now the time for deeds."

He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell the size of shell

From the shriek it make above him, and he knew just where it fell.

In the front line trench he labored, and he knew the feel of mud,

And he didn't run from danger and he wasn't scared of blood.

He wrote letters for the wounded, and he cheered them with his jokes,

And he never made a visit without passing round the smokes.

Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt beside a lad

Who was "going west" right speedy, and they both seemed mighty glad,

'Cause he held the boy's hand tighter, and he smiled and whispered low,

"Now you needn't fear the journey; over there with you I'll go."

And they both passed out together, arm in arm I think they went.

He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent.

My Part

I may never be a hero, I am past the limit now,

There are pencil marks of silver Time has left upon my brow;

I shall win no service medals, I shall hear no cannons' roar,

I shall never fight a battle higher up than eagles soar,

But I hope my children's children may recall my name with pride

As a man who never whimpered when his soul was being tried.

For the fighting and the dying for the everlasting truth

Are the labors designated for the strongest of our youth,

And the man that's nearing forty isn't asked to march away,

For there is no place in battle for the head that's turning gray.

His test is one of patience till the bitter work is done,

He must back his country's leaders till the victory is won.

When this bitter time is ended I don't want to have it said

That I faltered in my courage and I never looked ahead,

I don't want it told I added to the burdens and the woe,

By preaching dismal doctrines that were cheering to the foe;

I want my children's children to respect me and to find

That my soul was out there fighting, though my body stayed behind.

When this cruel test is over and the boys come back from France

I'd not have them say I hindered for a moment their advance;

That they found their duty harder than 'twas needful it should be

Because of the complaining of a lot of men like me.

Though I'll win no hero's medals and deserve no wild applause,

I want to be of service, not a hindrance to the cause.

The Call

Some will heed the call to arms,

But all must heed the call to grit;

The dreamers on the distant farms

Must rally now to do their bit.

The whirring lathes in factories great

Will sing the martial songs of strife;

Upon the emery wheel of fate

We're grinding now the nation's life.

The call is not alone to guns,

This is not but a battle test;

The world has summoned free men's sons

In every field to do their best.

The call has come to every man

To reach the summit of his powers;

To stand to service where he can;

A mighty duty now is ours.

We must be stalwarts in the field

Where peace has always kept her throne,

No door against the need is sealed,

No man to-day can live alone.

The young apprentice at the bench,

The wise inventor, old and gray,

Serve with the soldier in the trench,

All warriors for the better day.

Oh, man of science, unto you

The call for service now has come!

Mechanic, banker, lawyer, too,

Have you not heard the stirring drum?

Oh, humble digger in the ditch,

Bend to your spade and do your best,

And prove America is rich

In manhood fine for every test.

Each man beneath the starry flag

Must live his noblest through the strife

If tyranny is not to drag

Into the mire the best of life.

Though some will wear our uniform,

We face to-day a common fate

And all must bravely breast the storm

And heed the call for courage great.


For strength to face the battle's might,

For men that dare to die for right,

For hearts above the lure of gold

And fortune's soft and pleasant way,

For courage of our days of old,

Great God of All, we kneel and pray.

We thank Thee for our splendid youth.

Who fight for liberty and truth,

Within whose breasts there glows anew

The glory of the altar fires

Which our heroic fathers knew—

God make them worthy of their sires!

We thank Thee for our mothers fair

Who through the sorrows they must bear

Still smile, and give their hearts to woe,

Yet bravely heed the day's command—

That mothers, yet to be, may know

A free and glorious motherland.

Oh, God, we thank Thee for the skies

Where our flag now in glory flies!

We thank Thee that no love of gain

Is leading us, but that we fight

To keep our banner free from stain

And that we die for what is right.

Oh, God, we thank Thee that we may

Lift up our eyes to Thee to-day;

We thank Thee we can face this test

With honor and a spotless name,

And that we serve a world distressed

Unselfishly and free from shame.

A Patriotic Wish

I'd like to be the sort of man the flag could boast about;

I'd like to be the sort of man it cannot live without;

I'd like to be the type of man

That really is American:

The head-erect and shoulders-square,

Clean-minded fellow, just and fair,

That all men picture when they see

The glorious banner of the free.

I'd like to be the sort of man the flag now typifies,

The kind of man we really want the flag to symbolize;

The loyal brother to a trust,

The big, unselfish soul and just,

The friend of every man oppressed,

The strong support of all that's best—

The sturdy chap the banner's meant,

Where'er it flies, to represent.

I'd like to be the sort of man the flag's supposed to mean,

The man that all in fancy see, wherever it is seen;

The chap that's ready for a fight

Whenever there's a wrong to right,

The friend in every time of need,

The doer of the daring deed,

The clean and generous handed man

That is a real American.

A Patriot

It's funny when a feller wants to do his little bit,

And wants to wear a uniform and lug a soldier's kit,

And ain't afraid of submarines nor mines that fill the sea,

They will not let him go along to fight for liberty

They make him stay at home and be his mother's darling pet,

But you can bet there'll come a time when they will want me yet.

I want to serve the Stars and Stripes, I want to go and fight,

I want to lick the Kaiser good, and do the job up right.

I know the way to use a gun and I can dig a trench

And I would like to go and help the English and the French.

But no, they say, you cannot march away to stirring drums;

Be mother's angel boy at home; stay there and twirl your thumbs.

I've read about the daring boys that fight up in the sky;

It seems to me that that must be a splendid way to die.

I'd like to drive an aeroplane and prove my courage grim

And get above a German there and drop a bomb on him,

But they won't let me go along to help the latest drive;

They say my mother needs me here because I'm only five.

Memorial Day

The finest tribute we can pay

Unto our hero dead to-day,

Is not a rose wreath, white and red,

In memory of the blood they shed;

It is to stand beside each mound,

Each couch of consecrated ground,

And pledge ourselves as warriors true

Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie

At rest, beneath the open sky,

Triumphant now, o'er every foe,

As living tributes let us go.

No wreath of rose or immortelles

Or spoken word or tolling bells

Will do to-day, unless we give

Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red

We place above our hero dead;

To-day beside their graves we must

Renew allegiance to their trust;

Must bare our heads and humbly say

We hold the Flag as dear as they,

And stand, as once they stood, to die

To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay

Unto our hero dead to-day

Is not of speech or roses red,

But living, throbbing hearts instead

That shall renew the pledge they sealed

With death upon the battlefield:

That freedom's flag shall bear no stain

And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

The Soldier on Crutches

He came down the stairs on the laughter-filled grill

Where patriots were eating and drinking their fill,

The tap of his crutch on the marble of white

Caught my ear as I sat all alone there that night.

I turned—and a soldier my eyes fell upon,

He had fought for his country, and one leg was gone!

As he entered a silence fell over the place;

Every eye in the room was turned up to his face.

His head was up high and his eyes seemed aflame

With a wonderful light, and he laughed as he came.

He was young—not yet thirty—yet never he made

One sign of regret for the price he had paid.

One moment before this young soldier came in

I had caught bits of speech in the clatter and din

From the fine men about me in life's dress parade

Who were boasting the cash sacrifices they'd made;

And I'd thought of my own paltry service with pride,

When I turned and that hero of battle I spied.

I shall never forget the hot flushes of shame

That rushed to my cheeks as that young fellow came.

He was cheerful and smiling and clear-eyed and fine

And out of his face golden light seemed to shine.

And I thought as he passed me on crutches:

"How small

Are the gifts that I make if I don't give my all."

Some day in the future in many a place

More soldiers just like him we'll all have to face.

We must sit with them, talk with them, laugh with them, too,

With the signs of their service forever in view

And this was my thought as I looked at him then

—Oh, God! make me worthy to stand with such men.

The Friendly Greeting

Oh, we have friends in England, and we have friends in France,

And should we have to travel there through some strange circumstance,

Undaunted we should sail away, and gladly should we go,

Because awaiting us would be somebody that we know.

Full many a journey here we make where countless strangers roam,

Yet everywhere our faces turn we find a friend from home.

Oh, we have friends in distant towns, and friends 'neath foreign skies,

And yet we think of him as lost whene'er a loved one dies.

Yet he has merely traveled on, as many a friend must do;

Within a distant city fair he waits for me and you,

And when shall come our time to make that journey through the gloam,

To welcome us he will be there, the smiling friend from home.

We Need a Few More Optimists

We need a few more optimists,

The kind that double up their fists

And set their jaws, determined-like,

A blow at infamy to strike.

Not smiling men, who drift along

And compromise with every wrong;

Not grinning optimists who cry

That right was never born to die,

But optimists who'll fight to give

The truth an honest chance to live.

We need a few more optimists

For places in our fighting lists,

The kind of hopeful men who make

Real sacrifice for freedom's sake;

The optimist, with purpose strong,

Who stands to battle every wrong,

Takes off his coat, and buckles in

The better joys of earth to win!

The optimist who worries lest

The vile should overthrow the best.

We need a few more optimists,

The brave of heart that long resists

The force of Hate and Greed and lust

And keeps in God and man his trust,

Believing, as he makes his fight

That everything will end all right—

Yet through the dreary days and nights

Unfalteringly serves and fights,

And helps to gain the joys which he

Believes are some day sure to be.

We need a few more optimists

Of iron hearts and sturdy wrists;

Not optimists who smugly smile

And preach that in a little while

The clouds will fade before the sun,

But cheerful men who'll bear a gun,

And hopeful men, of courage stout,

Who'll see disaster round about

And yet will keep their faith, and fight,

And gain the victory for right.

Taking His Place

He's doing double duty now;

Time's silver gleams upon his brow,

And there are lines upon his face

Which only passing years can trace.

And yet he's turned back many a page

Long written in the book of age,

For since their boy has marched away,

This kindly father, growing gray,

Is doing for the mother true

The many things the boy would do.

Just as the son came home each night

With youthful step and eyes alight,

So he returns, and with a shout

Of greeting puts her grief to rout.

He says that she shall never miss

The pleasure of that evening kiss,

And with strong arms and manner brave

He simulates the hug he gave,

And loves her, when the day is done,

Both as a husband and a son.

His laugh has caught a clearer ring;

His step has claimed the old-time swing,

And though his absence hurts him, too,

The bravest thing that he can do

Is just to try to take his place

And keep the smiles on mother's face.

So, merrily he jests at night—

Tells her with all a boy's delight

Of what has happened in the town,

And thus keeps melancholy down.

Her letters breathe of hope and cheer;

No note of gloom she sends from here,

And as her husband reads at night

The many messages she writes,

He chuckles o'er the closing line.

She's failed his secret to divine—

"When you get home," she tells the lad,

"You'll scarcely know your doting dad;

Although his hair is turning gray,

He seems more like a boy each day."

Christmas, 1918

They give their all, this Christmastide, that peace on earth shall reign;

Upon the snows of Flanders now, brave blood has left its stain;

With ribbons red we deck our gifts; theirs bear the red of pain.

They give their lives that joy shall live and little children play;

They pass that all that makes for peace shall not be swept away;

They die that children yet unborn shall have their Christmas Day.

Come! deck the home with holly wreaths and make this Christmas glow,

And let Old Glory wave above the bough of mistletoe!

Come! keep alive the faith of them who sleep 'neath Flanders snow.

Ye brave of heart who dwell at home, make merry now a-while;

The world has need of Christmas cheer its sorrows to beguile;

And blest is he whose love can light grief's corners with a smile.

Ring out once more, sweet Christmas bells, your message to the sky,

Proclaim in golden tones again to every passer-by

That peace shall rule the lands of earth, and only war shall die.

Let love's sweet tenderness relieve war's cruel crimson clutch,

Send forth the Christmas spirit, every troubled heart to touch;

Blest will be all we do for them who do for us so much.

The New Year

Come you with dangers to fright us? or hazards

to try out our souls?

Then may you find us undaunted; determined to

get to our goals.

Now, white are the pages you bring us to fill

with the tales of our deeds,

And I pray we shall square at the finish the work

of our lives with our creeds.

Oh, child of a year, do you wonder what here

upon earth you shall find?

America shows you a people united in purpose

and mind;

Whatever you bring us of danger, whatever you

hold to affright,

I pray that we never shall lower our standards

of truth and of right.

You find us a people united, full pledged to the

work of the world,

To banish the despot and tyrant, our banner in

battle's unfurled;

And here to a world that is bleeding and weary

and heartsick you come,

Whatever you've brought us of duty—we'll

answer the call of your drum.

We may weep in our grief and our sorrows, we

may bend 'neath the might of the blow,

But never our courage shall falter, and never

we'll run from the foe.

We know not how troubled our pathways shall

be nor how sorely beset,

But I pray we shall cling to our honor as men

and never our purpose forget.

Our Duty to Our Flag

Less hate and greed

Is what we need

And more of service true;

More men to love

The flag above

And keep it first in view.

Less boast and brag

About the flag,

More faith in what it means;

More heads erect,

More self-respect,

Less talk of war machines.

The time to fight

To keep it bright

Is not along the way,

Nor 'cross the foam,

But here at home

Within ourselves—to-day.

'Tis we must love

That flag above

With all our might and main;

For from our hands—

Not distant lands—

Shall come dishonor's stain.

If that flag be

Dishonored, we

Have done it—-not the foe;

If it shall fall,

We, first of all,

Shall have to strike the blow.

The Unsettled Scores

The men are talking peace at 'ome, but 'ere we're talking fight,

There's many a little debt we've got to square;

A sniper sent a bullet through my bunkie's 'ead last night,

And 'is body's lying somewhere h'over there.

Oh, we 'ear a lot of rumors that the war is h'almost through

But Hi'm thinking that it's only arf begun;

Every soldier in the trenches has a little debt that's due

And Hi'm telling you it's not a money one.

We 'ave 'eard the bullets whistle and we've 'card the shrapnel sing

And we've listened to a dying comrade's pleas,

And we've 'eard about the comfort that the days of peace will bring,

But we've debts that can't be settled h'over seas.

They that 'aven't slept in trenches, 'aven't brothered with the worms,

'Aven't 'ad a bunkie slaughtered at their side,

May some day get together and arrange some sort of terms,

But it isn't likely we'll be satisfied.

There are debts we want to settle, 'and to 'and, and face to face,

There are one or two Hi've promised that Hi'd square;

And Hi cannot 'old my 'ead up, 'ere or in the other place,

Till Hi've settled for my bunkie, lying there.


We all are warriors with sin. Crusading knights,

we come to earth

With spotless plumes and shining shields to joust

with foes and prove our worth.

The world is but a battlefield where strong and

weak men fill the lists,

And some make war with humble prayers, and

some with swords and some with fists.

And some for pleasure or for peace forsake their

purposes and goals

And barter for the scarlet joys of ease and pomp,

their knightly souls.

We're all enlisted soldiers here, in service for

the term called life

And each of us in some grim way must bear his

portion of the strife.

Temptations everywhere assail. Men do not rise

by fearing sin,

Nor he who keeps within his tent, unharmed,

unscratched, the crown shall win.

When wrongs are trampling mortals down and

rank injustice stalks about,

Real manhood to the battle flies, and dies or puts

the foes to rout.

'Tis not the new and shining blade that marks

the soldier of the field,

His glory is his broken sword, his pride the

scars upon his shield;

The crimson stains that sin has left upon his

soul are tongues that speak

The victory of new found strength by one who

yesterday was weak.

And meaningless the spotless plume, the shining

blade that goes through life

And quits this naming battlefield without one

evidence of strife.

We all are warriors with sin, we all are knights

in life's crusades,

And with some form of tyranny, we're sent to

earth to measure blades.

The courage of the soul must gleam in conflict

with some fearful foe,

No man was ever born to life its luxuries alone

to know.

And he who brothers with a sin to keep his outward

garb unsoiled

And fears to battle with a wrong, shall find his

soul decayed and spoiled.

Easy Service

When an empty sleeve or a sightless eye

Or a legless form I see,

I breathe my thanks to my God on High

For His watchful care o'er me.

And I say to myself, as the cripple goes

Half stumbling on his way:

I may brag and boast, but that brother knows

Why the old flag floats to-day.

I think as I sit in my cozy den

Puffing one of my many pipes

That I've served with all of my fellow men

The glorious Stars and Stripes.

Then I see a troop in the faded blue

And a few in the dusty gray,

And I have to laugh at the deeds I do

For the flag that floats to-day.

I see men tangled in pointed wire,

The sport of the blazing sun,

Mangled and maimed by a leaden fire

As the tides of battle run,

And I fancy I hear their piteous calls

For merciful death, and then

The cannons cease and the darkness falls,

And those fluttering things are men.

Out there in the night they beg for death,

Yet the Reaper spurns their cries,

And it seems his jest to leave them breath

For their pitiful pleas and sighs.

And I am here in my cozy room

In touch with the joys of life,

I am miles away from the fields of doom

And the gory scenes of strife.

I never have vainly called for aid,

Nor suffered real pangs of thirst,

I have marched with life in its best parade

And never have seen its worst.

In the flowers of ease I have ever basked,

And I think as the Flag I see

How much of service from some it's asked,

How little of toil from me.

A Father's Thoughts

Because I am his father, they

Expect me to put grief away;

Because I am a man, and rough

And sometimes short of speech and gruff,

The women folks at home believe

His absence doesn't make me grieve;

But how I felt, they little know,

The day I smiled and let him go.

They little know the dreams I had

Long cherished for my sturdy lad;

They little guess the wrench it meant

That day when off to war he went;

They little know the tears I checked

While standing, smiling and erect;

They never heard my smothered sigh

When it was time to say good-bye.

"What does his father think and say?"

The neighbors ask from day to day.

"Oh, he's a man," they answer then.

"And you know how it is with men.

But little do they ever say,

They do not feel the self-same way;

He seems indifferent and grim

And yet he's very proud of him."

Indifferent and grim! Oh, heart,

Be brave enough to play the part,

Let not the grief in you be shown,

Keep all your loneliness unknown,

To you the women folks must turn

For comfort when their sorrows burn.

You must not at this time reveal

The pain and anguish that you feel.

Oh, tongue, be silent through the years,

And eyes, keep back always the tears,

And let them never see or know

My hidden weight of grief and woe.

Though every golden dream I had

Was centered in my little lad,

Alone my sorrow I must bear.

They must not know how much I care.

Though women folks may talk and weep,

A man, unseen, his grief must keep,

And hide behind his smile and pride

The loneliness that dwells inside.

And so, from day to day, I go,

Playing the part of man, although

Beneath the rough outside and grim,

I think and dream and pray for him.

The Waiter at the Camp

The officers' friend is the waiter at camp.

In the night air 'twas cold and was bitterly damp,

And they asked me to dine, which I readily did,

For at dining I've talents I never keep hid.

Then a bright-eyed young fellow came in with the meat,

And straightway the troop of us started to eat.

I silently noticed that young fellow wait

At each officer's side 'til he'd filled up his plate;

I was startled a bit at the very first look

By the size of the helping each officer took,

And I thought as I sat there among them that night

Of the army's effect on a man's appetite.

The waiter at last brought the platter to me

And modestly proper I started to be.

A small piece of meat then I gracefully took;

The young fellow stood there and gave me a look.

"Better get all you want," he remarked to me then,

"I pass this way once, but I don't come again."

I turned in amazement. He nodded his head

In a way that convinced me he meant what he said.

I knew from his manner and smile on his lip

That the rule in the army is "no second trip."

And I thought as he left me my food to attack,

Life gives us one chance, but it never comes back.

The Complacent Slacker

When he was just a lad in school,

He used to sit around and fool

And watch the clock and say:

"I can't see that I'll ever need

This stuff the teacher makes me read,

I'll work no more to-day.

And anyhow it's almost June

And school days will be over soon."

One time we played a baseball game,

And when a chance for stealing came,

On second base he stood,

And when we asked him why, he said:

"What was the use, they're far ahead,

One run would do no good.

The game is almost over now,

We couldn't win it anyhow."

The same old slacker still is he,

With men at war on land and sea,

And our lads plunging in it;

He spreads afar his old excuse.

"I'd like to help, but what's the use,

The Allied troops will win it.

There's nothing now to make us fret, there,

They'll have it won before we get there."

The worst of slackers is the man

Who will not help whene'er he can,

But plays the idle rover,

And tells to all beset with doubt

There's naught to be alarmed about,

The storm will soon be over.

Let no such dangerous person lead us,

To-day in France they sadly need us.

A Christmas Greeting

Here's to you, little mother,

With your boy so far away;

May the joy of service smother

All your grief this Christmas day;

May the magic of his splendor

Thrill your spirit through and through

And may all that's fine and tender

Make a smiling day for you.

May you never know the sadness

That from day to day you dread;

May you never find but gladness

In the Flag that's overhead;

May the good God watch above him

As he stands to duty stern,

And at last to all who love him

May he have a safe return.

Little mother, take the blessing

Of a grateful nation's heart;

May the news that is distressing

Never cause your tears to start;

May there be no fears to haunt you,

And no lonely hours and sad;

May your trials never daunt you,

But may every day be glad.

Little Mother, could I do it,

This my Christmas gift would be:

That he'd safely battle through it,

This to you I'd guarantee.

And I'd pledge to you this morning

Joys to banish all your cares,

Gifts of gold and silver scorning,

I would answer all your prayers.


Better than land or gold or trade

Are a high ideal and a purpose true;

Better than all of the wealth we've made

Is the work for others that now we do.

For Rome grew rich and she turned to song

And danced to music and drank her wine,

But she sapped the strength of her fibres strong

And a gilded shroud was her splendor fine.

The Rome of old with its wealth and wine

Was the handiwork of a sturdy race;

They builded well and they made it fine

And they dreamed of it as their children's place.

They thought the joys they had won to give,

And which seemed so certain and fixed and sure,

To the end of time in the world would live

And the Rome they'd fashioned would long endure.

They passed to their children the hoarded gold,

Their marble halls and their fertile fields!

But not the spirit of Rome of old,

Nor the Roman courage that never yields.

They left them the wealth that their hands had won,

But they failed to leave them a purpose true.

They left them thinking life's work all done,

And Rome went down and was lost to view.

We must guard ourselves lest we follow Rome.

We must leave our children the finer things.

We must teach them love of the spot called home

And the lasting joy that a purpose brings.

For vain are our Flag and our battles won,

And vain are our lands and our stores of gold,

If our children feel that life's work is done.

We must give them a high ideal to hold.


"My Crown Prince was fine and fair," a sorrowful

father said,

"But he marched away with his regiment and

they tell me that he's dead!

'We all must go,' he whispered low, 'We must

fight for the Fatherland.'

Now the heart of me's torn with the grief I

know, and I cannot understand,

For none of the Kaiser's princes lie out there

where my soldier sleeps;

Here's a land where grief is the common lot, but

never the Kaiser weeps.

"My Crown Prince was a kindly prince, and his

eyes were gentle, too,

And glad were the days of his youth to me when

his wonderful smile I knew.

Then the Kaiser flattered and spoke him well,

and he sent him out to die,

But his Crown Prince hasn't felt one hurt and

the heart of me questions why?

He talks of war in his regal way and he boasts

of his strength to strike,

But his boys all live and he doesn't know what

the sting of a bullet's like.

"Rebellion gnaws at the soul of me as I think

of his Crown Prince gay,

And my Prince cold in the arms of death, and

harsh are the things I say.

I join with the grief-torn muttering men who

challenge the Kaiser's right

To build his joys on the graves of ours. We

shall rise in our wrath to smite!

And this is the thing we shall ask of him: to

give us the reason why

Our boys must fall on his battlefields, but never

his boys must die?"


The biggest moment in our lives was that when first he cried,

From that day unto this, for him, we've struggled side by side.

We can recount his daily deeds, and backwards we can look,

And proudly live again the time when first a step he took.

I see him trudging off to school, his mother at his side,

And when she left him there alone she hurried home and cried.

And then the sturdy chap of eight that was, I proudly see,

Who packed a little grip and took a fishing trip with me.

Among the lists of boys to go his name has now appeared;

To us has come the sacrifice that mothers all have feared;

And though we dread the parting hour when he shall march away,

We love him and the Flag too much to ask of him to stay.

His baby ways shall march with him, and every joy we've had,

Somewhere in France some day shall be a little brown-eyed lad;

A toddler and a child at school, the chum that once I knew

Shall wear our country's uniform, for they've been drafted, too.


You have given me riches and ease,

You have given me joys through the years,

I have sat in the shade of your trees,

With the song of your birds in my ears.

I have drunk of your bountiful wine

And done as I've chosen to do,

But, oh wonderful country of mine,

'How little have I done for you!

You have given me safe harbor from harm,

Untroubled I've slept through the nights

And have waked to the new morning's charm

And claimed as my own its delights.

I have taken the finest of fine

From your orchards and fields where it grew,

But, oh wonderful country of mine,

How little I've given to you!

You have given me a home and a place

Where in safety my babies may play;

Health blooms on each bright dimpled face

And laughter is theirs every day.

You have guarded from danger the shrine

Where I worship when toiling is through,

But, oh wonderful country of mine,

How little have I done for you!

I have taken your gifts without thought,

I have reveled in joys that you gave,

That I see now with blood had been bought,

The blood of your earlier braves.

I have lived without making one sign

That the source of my riches I knew,

Now, oh wonderful country of mine,

I'm here to do something for you!

A Wish

God grant my children may

Not think in terms of gold

When I have passed away

And my poor form is cold.

When I no more shall be,

If of me they would brag,

I'd have them speak of me

As one who loved the Flag.

God grant my children may

Not speak of me as one

Who trod a selfish way,

When I am dead and gone.

When they recall my name

I'd have them tell that I

Held dear my Country's fame

And kept her standards high.

Not for the things I gave

Would I be counted kind;

When I am in my grave,

If they my worth would find,

I'd have them read it there

In red and white and blue

And stars of radiance rare!

And say that I was true.


If through the years we're not to do

Much finer deeds than we have done;

If we must merely wander through

Time's garden, idling in the sun;

If there is nothing big ahead,

Why do we fear to join the dead?

Unless to-morrow means that we

Shall do some needed service here;

That tasks are waiting you and me

That will be lost, save we appear;

Then why this dreadful thought of sorrow

That we may never see to-morrow?

If all our finest deeds are done,

And all our splendor's in the past;

If there's no battle to be won,

What matter if to-day's our last?

Is life so sweet that we would live

Though nothing back to life we give?

Not to have lived through seventy years

Is greatness. Fitter to be sung

In poet's praises and in cheers

Is he who dies in action, young;

Who ventures all for one great deed

And gives his life to serve life's need.

Life's Slacker

The saddest sort of death to die

Would be to quit the game called life

And know, beneath the gentle sky,

You'd lived a slacker in the strife.

That nothing men on earth would find

To mark the spot that you had filled;

That you must go and leave behind

No patch of soil your hands had tilled.

I know no greater shame than this:

To feel that yours were empty years;

That after death no man would miss

Your presence in this vale of tears;

That you had breathed the fragrant air

And sat by kindly fires that burn,

And in earth's riches had a share

But gave no labor in return.

Yet some men die this way, nor care:

They enter and they leave life's door

And at the end, their record's bare—

The world's no better than before.

A few false tears are shed, and then,

In busy service, they're forgot.

We have no time to mourn for men

Who lived on earth but served it not.

A man in perfect peace to die

Must leave some mark of toil behind,

Some building towering to the sky,

Some symbol that his heart was kind,

Some roadway where strange feet may tread

That out of gratitude he made;

He cannot bravely look ahead

Unless his debt to life is paid.

The Proof of Worth

Though victory's proof of the skill you possess,

Defeat is the proof of your grit;

A weakling can smile in his days of success,

But at trouble's first sign he will quit.

So the test of the heart and the test of your pluck

Isn't skies that are sunny and fair,

But how do you stand to the blow that is struck

And how do you battle despair?

A fool can seem wise when the pathway is clear

And it's easy to see the way out,

But the test of man's judgment is something to fear,

And what does he do when in doubt?

And the proof of his faith is the courage he shows

When sorrows lie deep in his breast;

It's the way that he suffers the griefs that he knows

That brings out his worst or his best.

The test of a man is how much he will bear

For a cause which he knows to be right,

How long will he stand in the depths of despair,

How much will he suffer and fight?

There are many to serve when the victory's near

And few are the hurts to be borne,

But it calls for a leader of courage to cheer

The men in a battle forlorn.

It's the way you hold out against odds that are great

That proves what your courage is worth,

It's the way that you stand to the bruises of fate

That shows up your stature and girth.

And victory's nothing but proof of your skill,

Veneered with a glory that's thin,

Unless it is proof of unfaltering will,

And unless you have suffered to win.

Follow a Famous Father

I follow a famous father,

His honor is mine to wear;

He gave me a name that was free from shame,

A name he was proud to bear.

He lived in the morning sunlight,

And marched in the ranks of right.

He was always true to the best he knew

And the shield that he wore was bright.

I follow a famous father,

And never a day goes by

But I feel that he looks down to me

To carry his standard high.

He stood to the sternest trials

As only a brave man can;

Though the way be long, I must never wrong

The name of so good a man.

I follow a famous father,

Not known to the printed page,

Nor written down in the world's renown

As a prince of his little age.

But never a stain attached to him

And never he stooped to shame;

He was bold and brave and to me he gave

The pride of an honest name.

I follow a famous father,

And him I must keep in mind;

Though his form is gone, I must carry on

The name that he left behind.

It was mine on the day he gave it,

It shone as a monarch's crown,

And as fair to see as it came to me

It must be when I pass it down.

The Important Thing

He was playing in the garden when we called him in for tea,

But he didn't seem to hear us, so I went out there to see

What the little rogue was up to, and I stooped and asked him why,

When he heard his mother calling, he had made her no reply.

"I am playing war," he told me, "and I'm up against defeat,

And until I stop the Germans I can't take the time to eat."

"Isn't supper so important that you'll quit your round of play?

Don't you want to eat the shortcake mother made for you to-day?"

Then I asked him, but he answered as he shook his little head:

"I don't dare to stop for shortcake, if I do they'll kill me dead!

When I drive them from their trenches, then to supper I'll come in,

But I mustn't stop a minute, 'cause this war I've got to win."

I left him in his battle, left him there to end his play,

For he'd taught to me a lesson that is needed much to-day;

Not the lure of cake could turn him from the work he had to do;

There was nothing so important as to see his struggle through.

And I wondered all that evening, as he slumbered in his bed

If we'd risen to the meaning of the work that lies ahead?

Are we roused to the importance of the danger in our way?

Are we thinking still of pleasures as we thought but yesterday?

Are our comforts and our riches in our minds still uppermost?

Must we wait, to see our danger, till the foe is on our coast?

Oh, there's nothing so important, nothing now that's worth a pin

Save the war that we are fighting. It's a war we've got to win.


Search history, my boy, and see

What petty selfishness has done.

Find if you can one victory

That little minds have ever won.

There is no record there to read

Of men who fought for self alone,

No instance of a single deed

splendor they may proudly own.

Through all life's story you will find

The miser—with his hoarded gold—

A hermit, dreary and unkind,

An outcast from the human fold.

Men hold him up to view with scorn,

A creature by his wealth enslaved,

A spirit craven and forlorn,

Doomed by the money he has saved.

No man was ever truly great

Who sought to serve himself alone,

Who put himself above the state,

Above the friends about him thrown.

No man was ever truly glad

Who risked his joy on hoarded pelf,

And gave of nothing that he had

Through fear of needing it himself.

For selfishness is wintry cold,

And bitter are its joys at last,

The very charms it tries to hold,

With woes are quickly overcast.

And only he shall gladly live,

And bravely die when God shall call,

Who gathers but that he may give,

And with his fellows shares his all.

Constant Beauty

It's good to have the trees again, the singing of the breeze again,

It's good to see the lilacs bloom as lovely as of old.

It's good that we can feel again, the touch of beauties real again,

For hearts and minds, of sorrow now, have all that they can hold.

The roses haven't changed a bit, nor have the peonies stranged a bit,

They bud and bloom the way they did before the war began.

The world is upside down to-day, there's much to make us frown to-day

And gloom and sadness everywhere beset the path of man.

But now the lilacs bloom again and give us their perfume again

And now the roses smile at us and nod along the way;

And it is good to see again the blossoms on each tree again

And feel that nature hasn't changed the way we have to-day.

Oh, we have changed from what we were, we're not the carefree lot we were,

Our hearts are filled with sorrow now and grave concern and pain,

But it is good to see once more the budding lilac tree once more,

And find the constant roses here to comfort us again.

When the Drums Shall Cease to Beat

When will the laughter ring again in the way that it used to do?

Not till the soldiers come home again, not till the war is through.

When will the holly gleam again and the Christmas candles burn?

Not till the swords are sheathed once more and the brave of our land return.

When will happy hearts meet again in the lights of the Christmas tree?

Not till the cannons cease their roar and the sailors come from sea.

When shall we sing as we used to do and dance in the old-time way?

Not till the soldiers come home again and the bugles cease to play.

Oh, dull is the red of the holly now and faintly the candles burn;

And we long for the smile of the missing face and the absent one's return.

We long for the laughter we used to know and the love that made giving sweet,

But we must wait for the joys of old till the drums shall cease to beat.

We shall laugh once more as we used to do, and dance in the old-time way,

For this is the pledge they have made to us who serve in the war to-day;

And the joys of home that we treasure so are the joys that their lives defend,

And they shall give us our Christmas time as soon as the war shall end.


We shall thank our God for graces

That we've never known before;

We shall look on manlier faces

When our troubled days are o'er.

We shall rise a better nation

From the battle's grief and grime,

And shall win our soul's salvation

In this bitter trial time.

And the old Flag waving o'er us

In the dancing morning sun

Will be daily singing for us

Of a splendor new begun.

When the rifles cease to rattle

And the cannon cease to roar,

When is passed the smoke of battle

And the death lists are no more,

With a yet undreamed of beauty

As a people we shall rise,

And a love of right and duty

Shall be gleaming in our eyes.

As a country, tried by sorrow,

With a heritage of worth,

We shall stand in that to-morrow

With the leaders of the earth.