[handwritten: With the compliments
of the writer
Ont.] [unnumbered page]
Page 21, 13.7
Changed “infull” to “in full”
Page 22, 7.2
Changed “Kaser” to “Kaiser”
Page 32, 18.4
Changed “tha” to “that”
Page 32, 27.2
Changed “he” to “the”
Page 34, 22.4
Added “,” after “little”
Page 48, 14.2
Changed “Briitsh” to “British”
Page 57, 26.2
Changed “parents” to “parent”
Page 73, 11.3
Changed “.” to “,” after “Zepps”
The reader of this booklet is not expected to agree with everything in it. The rhymes express only the impressions made on the writer at the time by the varied incidents and conditions arising out of the great war, and some of them did not apply when circumstances changed.
They have been printed as written, however, and, if they serve no other purpose, may at least help us to recall some things that too soon have nearly passed out of our minds.
The outbreak of hostilities, the invasion of Belgium, the Old Land, in it and the rush of the British born to enlist, the early indifference of the majority of Canadians, the unemployment and distress of the winter of 1914-15, the heartlessness of Germany, Canada stirred by the valor of her first battalions, recruiting general throughout the country, the slackness of the United States, financial and political profiteering in all countries, smaller European nations playing for position, Italy joining the Allies, the debacle of Russia, the awful casualty lists, the return of disabled soldiers, the ceaseless war work of our women, the United States at last declaring war on Germany, the final line up and defeat of the Hun, and the horror and apparent uselessness of it all; some reflection of all these may be found by the reader in these simple rhymes. [unnumbered page]
MODERN DIPLOMACY, OR HOW THE WAR STARTED
Said Austria,—“You murderous Serb,
You the peace of all Europe disturb;
Get down on your knees
And apologize, please,
Or I’ll kick you right off my front curb.”
Said Serbia,—“Don’t venture too far,
Or I’ll call in my uncle, the Czar;
He won’t see me licked,
Nor insulted, nor kicked,
So you better leave things as they are.”
Said the Kaiser,—“That Serb’s a disgrace.
We must teach him to stay in his place;
If Russia says boo,
I’m in the game, too,
And right quickly we’ll settle the case.”
The Czar said,—“My cousin the Kaiser,
Was always a good advertiser;
He’s determined to fight,
And insists he is right,
But soon he’ll be older and wiser.”
“For forty-four summers,” said France,
“I have waited and watched for a chance
To wrest Alsace-Lorraine
From the Germans again,
And now is the time to advance.”
Said Belgium,—“When armies immense
Pour over my boundary fence,
I’ll awake from my nap,
And put up a scrap
They’ll remember a hundred years hence.”
Said John Bull,—“This ’ere Kaiser’s a slob,
And ’is word isn’t worth ’arf a bob,
(If I lets Belgium suffer,
I’m a blank bloomin’ duffer)
So ’ere goes for a crack at ’is nob.” [page 5]
Said Italy,—“I think I’ll stay out
Till I know what the row is about;
It’s a far better plan,
Just to sell my banan’,
Till the issue is plain beyond doubt.”
Said our good uncle Samuel,—“I swaow
I had better keep aout of this raow,
For with Mormons and Niggers,
And Greasers, I figgers
I have all I kin handle just naow.”
THE ALLIED FORCES
When Johnnie Bull pledges his word,
To keep it he’ll gird on his sword,
While allies and sons
Will shoulder their guns;
The prince, and the peasant, and lord.
First there’s bold Tommy Aitkins himself,
For a shilling a day of poor pelf,
And for love of his King,
And the fun of the thing,
He fights till he’s laid on the shelf.
Brave Taffy is ready to go
As soon as the war bugles blow;
He fights like the diel,
When it comes to cold steel,
And dies with his face to the foe.
And Donald from North Inverness,
Who fights in a ballet girl’s dress;
He likes a free limb;
No tight skirts for him,
Impeding his march to success.
The gun runner, stern, from Belfast,
Now stands at the head of the mast;
If a tempest should come,
Or a mine, or a bomb,
He will stick to his post to the last. [page 6]
And Hogan, that broth of a lad,
Home Ruler from Bally-na-fad,
Writes—“I’m now in the trench
With the English and the French,
And we’re licking the Germans, be dad!”
The Cockney Canuck from Toronto,
Whom Maple leaves hardly stick on to,
Made haste to enlist,
To fight the mailed fist.
When Canadian born didn’t want to.
From where the wide-winged albatross
Floats white ’neath the Southern Cross,
There come the swift cruisers,
And Germans are losers;
Australians want no Kaiser boss.
From sheep run, pine forest and fern,
The stalwart New Zealanders turn
To the land of their sires,
For with ancestral fires
Their bosoms in ardor still burn.
The tall, turbaned, heathen Hindoo
Is proud to be in the game too,
For the joy of his life,
Is to help in the strife
Of the sahibs, and see the war through.
The Frenchman who made wooden shoes,
While airing his Socialist views,
Deserted his bench,
For the horrible trench,
As soon as he heard the war news.
The wild, woolly, grinning Turco,
From where the fierce, desert winds blow,
Will give up his life
In the thick of the strife,
And go where the good niggers go.
The versatile Jap’s in the game,
Because of a treaty he came,
For old Johnnie Bull
Will have his hands full,
The bellicose Germans to tame. [page 7]
The hard riding Cossack and Russ,
At the very first sign of a fuss,
Cried—“Long live the white Czar,
We are off to the war,
No more Nihilist nonsense for us.”
The bold Belgian burgher from Brussels
Has fought in a hundred hard tussles,
And is still going strong,
Nor will it be long,
Ere the foe back to Berlin he hustles.
The hardy, cantankerous Serb,
Whom even the Turk couldn’t curb,
In having a go
With Emperor Joe,
Will the plans of the Kaiser disturb.
The fierce mountaineers of King Nick
Got into the ring good and quick,
They are never afraid,
For to fight is their trade,
While their wives have the living to pick.
THE MODERN GOOD SAMARITAN
The road that leads to Jericho,
By thieves is still beset,
For Kaiser Bill, the highwayman,
Is there already yet.
Thrown thick o’er half a Continent,
His blood-stirred victims lie;
The priest, in horror, lifts his hands,
The Levite passes by.
The modern Good Samaritan,
Kind-hearted Uncle Sam,
Exclaims, “This thing gets on my nerves
I’ll send a cablegram.
But while the cash is going free,
I’ll see what I can get,
And since these chaps are down and out;
I’ll steal their trade you bet!” [page 8]
Hell hath enlarged its borders,
While Satan sits in state,
And gives his servants orders
To open wide the gate.
“My most successful agent,”
Said he, “is Kaiser Bill;
Just watch his daily pageant
Of souls come down the hill.
His friends who sacked the city;
His slaves who raped the nuns;
His ghouls devoid of pity—
The bloody, lustful Huns.
The ‘scrap of paper’ liars,
The burners of Louvain
Shall feed hell’s hottest fires
With Judas and with Cain.
The unfenced city raiders,
The crew of submarine
That sank the unarmed traders
To vent the Kaiser’s spleen.
The wreckage of the nations,
Ten million dwellings lost,
Murders and mutilations,
The world’s great holocaust.
The workman’s scanty wages,
The souls of sunken ships;
The faith and hope of ages,
The prayers from human lips;
The livelihood of millions,
The commerce and the trade;
The untold, wasted billions
Man’s industry had made.
For these I thank the Kaiser;
His efforts please me well;
The world becomes no wiser;
It’s growing time in hell.” [page 9]
THE CANADIAN WAY
When times are good, and labor dear
We coax the British workman here,
And should he shrink to cross the drink,
We tell him he has naught to fear.
But when the times are hard and straight,
His is indeed a sorry fate;
We let him die, with starving cry,
Like Lazarus, beside our gate.
When all the battle flags are furled,
And wolf and lamb together curled,
We loudly sing,—“God Save the King.”
And bid defiance to the world.
When some must go to bear the brunt,
And check the German Kaiser’s stunt,
We still can brag, and wave the flag,
But send the British to the front.
When Princess Pats charge down the pike,
And put the Germans on the hike,
We shout—“Hooray for Canaday!
The world has never seen our like.”
But when word comes across the waves,
The first contingent misbehaves,
We cry aloud to all the crowd,
“Them British born are fools or knaves.”
When other men with sword and gun,
Would stop the fierce destroying Hun,
We count the cost as money lost,
And still look out for number one.
When other lands attain their goal,
Our name shall blacken Heaven’s scroll,
A thing of scorn, all men to warn;
A country that has lost its soul. [page 10]
THE ENGLISH WOMAN’S COMPLAINT
We want to ask Canadians
To treat us not as fools;
We cannot learn to play the game
Until we know the rules.
We ask them not to try to take
The mote from our eye,
Nor say, till their own beam’s removed,
“No English need apply.”
We try to be Canadians,
It’s ’ard, we must confess,
To drop our English adjectives
And learn to say “I guess.”
We’ve chucked the bread and cheese and beer,
We learning to eat pie,
So please cut out that nasty slur,
“No English need apply.”
We came ’ere for our children’s sake,
(At ’ome they ’ad no show)
Though ’tain’t just what we thought it was,
This land of frost and snow;
But we never shrink at ’ardships,
And we’ve come ’ere to stiy;
So hustle down that bloomin’ sign,
“No English need apply.”
We aren’t no cooking experts,
And couldn’t make a blouse,
For, till our ’usbands married us,
We never ’ad kept ’ouse.
And then we ’ad our families,
But that’s no reason why,
As you should flash your dirty ads,
“No English need apply.”
In trying to economize
Perhaps we’re rather slow,
But when you call for volunteers
Our sons and ’usbands go;
In all of your contingents
Canadians are shy,
But Colonel Sam ’as never said,
“No English need apply.” [page 11]
When, steeped in military pride,
The crazy Kaiser Bill
Let loose his hell-directed hordes,
To plunder, burn and kill,
And British lads took up their guns
For Freedom’s cause to die,
Brave, blood-stained Belgium didn’t say
“No English need apply.”
Wherever danger blocks the way
An Englishman has led,
No storm-tossed sea, no foreign shore,
But shelters England’s dead;
And when brave spirits took their flight
To realms beyond the sky,
We know Saint Peter didn’t say
“No English need apply.”
“I haven’t any way, sir, to earn my daily bread;
Give me a job, I pray, sir, my children must be fed.”
“To keep your kids from harm, sir,” the city man replied,
“There’s no place like the farm, sir; the peaceful country side.”
“I have no work to do, sir,” said I to Farmer Sprout;
“So I have come to you, sir, to try to help me out,”
He answered: “Can you plow, sir, or build a load of hay?
If you can’t milk a cow, sir, you’d better fade away.”
“Have you a job to-day, sir, to give a working-man?
My stomach’s full of hay, sir, my children live on bran.”
“I really can’t delay, sir,” the busy man replied,
“Please call some other day, sir, my car is just outside.” [page 12]
“I want to find a place, sir,” said I to Groucher Black;
“I couldn’t go the pace, sir, and now I’m off the track.”
Old Groucher growled in answer, “This town of blasted hopes,
Has no place for a man, sir, who doesn’t know the ropes.”
“I’m anxious to enlist, sir, I am a Briton true,
To fight the mailed fist, sir, the Kaiser and his crew.”
Thus answered Dr. Brown,—“Sir, in one main point you lack;
I’ll have to turn you down, sir, because your teeth don’t track.”
“I’d like to find some work, sir;” to Smith, M.P., I spoke;
I really am no shirk, sir, although I’m stony broke.”
Said he, “You poor old lobster, you have a lot to learn,
To get a steady job, sir, you really must intern.”
THE HATE OF HANS
I hate dot teufel, Johnnie Bull,
(Der Kaiser says I must)
Mit rage mine heart is filled so full
Sometimes I tink I’ll bust.
Vot pisness dey mit horse and gun,
Dot Channel shtream to cross?
Vot matter for de tings ve done?
Der Kaiser is de boss.
Dose Englishe, yaw, I tells you true!
Dey spoil der Kaiser’s plans
Shoost cause ve march de Belgium through
Dey kills us Sherman mans. [page 13]
Mine brudder’s dead, already, soon,
Mine sister is von spy,
Mine cousin rides de big balloon,
Dot floats up in de sky.
My poys—Dot story I can’t wrote,
I lose dem, von—two—tree
Ven English teufels sink dose boat,
Vot sail de untersee.
Mineself, I learn de English talk
Von time in Milwaukee,
I hang around de Antwerp dock,
Und hear vot I can see.
Dey tink dey’ll starve us Shermans oudt,
Not yet, already, blease,
Ve still haf lots of saur-kraut,
Und goot limburger cheese.
Mid blenty peers, und blenty shmokes
Und rye bread, mixed mit sand,
Dis is enough for Sherman folks,
Dat luf de fatherland.
Ve’ll tear dot English heart oudt yet
Mit eagle’s beak and claws;
Shoost now ve can’t to London get,
I don’t know vy pecause.
Ve should haf been dere long ago,
Mit dose machine dot flies,
But tings seem going britty slow,
Berhaps der Kaiser lies.
HANS BEGINS TO WONDER
I vonder if dot’s nefer so.
Shaymeezle Russia take,
You can’t pelieve von half you know,
Such lies dose papers make.
I vonder if dose tales are true,
Ve lose most all our ships,
Our colonies und commerce too,
I hear tings mit my lips. [page 14]
I vonder if dose Dardanelles,
Can shtop der allied fleet,
Somedimes to me dere’s someting tells,
Maype dose Turks get peat.
I vonder, too, if Italy
Vill give to us der bump,
Shoost now she’s vaiting yet to see
Vichway der cat vill yump.
I vonder can our army shtop
Dose Russian teufels’ raid,
Or vill dey gain de mountain top
Or fail to make de grade.
I vonder, if dot Balkan bunch,
Und Greece und Holland too,
Should give us britty soon de punch,
Vot vill der Kaiser do.
I vonder vere der Kaiser shtays
Mit all dose poys of his,
You pet, dey keep a goot long vays
From vere de bullets whiz.
I vonder if dor kultur’s goot;
Sometimes it is, no doubt,
But ven it comes to daily foodt
I luf der saur-kraut.
I vonder if we all get stung,
Like vot de Yankees say;
Der Kaiser maype yet get hung,
If ve don’t vin de day.
* * * *
Mine gracious! vot is dat I say?
No von, I hope, don’t hear;
Dose spies vould sell mine life away
For von goot drink of peer. [page 15]
“Only forty per cent. of the volunteers at Valcartier are Canadian born.” “A large number of men are being kept at home by their wives and mothers”
—Recent News Items.
Our Jack Canuck is active,
He plays a pretty goal,
But makes swift runs to cover
When drums begin to roll.
And Jack Canuck’s unselfish,
He lets the honors go
All to his British brother,
When war time bugles blow
And Jack Canuck is modest;
That’s why he chooses rears,
And sees the front seats taken
By British volunteers.
Yes, Jack Canuck’s a hero
Whose glory never fades;
He’ll lick his weight in wild cats
—The day his lodge parades.
And Jack Canuck’s free handed
He sends, (Jack’s awful wise),
His dumpling dust in ship loads;
(It pays to advertise).
For Jack Canuck is thrifty
He wants, when peace is made,
To feed the worn out nations,
And capture all the trade.
And Miss Canuck and Mrs.,
They value so the lives
Of husband, son and sweetheart,
These daughters, maids and wives.
They’ll let the Belgian mother,
The French and English maid
Give husband, brother, lover,
To stop the Kaiser’s raid. [page 18]
They’ll see sweet Highland Mary
Walk life’s long path alone,
And hear dear Irish Nora
Wail for the loved ones gone.
They’ll send a feather pillow
Or knit a pair of socks,
And think they’ve done their duty
By them that take the knocks.
Oh that our hearts were bigger,
And not so worldly wise;
‘When duty calls, or danger;
Ready to sacrifice.
WHAT OWEST THOU
In blood bought, Belgian trenches,
On stormy Northern Sea,
Brave hearts of oak are watching,
Protecting you and me.
The British wife and mother,
The maid with sweetheart dear,
Lest those they love should falter,
Hold back the scalding tear.
“Your King and Country need you,”
They say, with courage high.
“Your fathers, too, were soldiers;
And not afraid to die.”
Like fearless freeborn Britons
Not Kaiser driven slaves,
Go heroes, from the homeland
To unmarked foreign graves.
Shall we, with path made easy,
While others fight and fall,
In freedom’s hour of danger
Neglect the Empire’s call?
Shall we hoard up our dollars?
Shall farmers hold their wheat,
While children suffer hunger,
And workmen walk the street? [page 19]
That land is doomed already
To black, unending night,
Whose old men worship money;
Whose young men will not fight.
O, for some John the Baptist!
Some prophet Malachi,
To lash our selfish conscience,
And teach us purpose high.
* * * *
Thank Heaven there’s a remnant,
A few not quite enslaved,
For ten just men in Sodom,
The city would have saved.
A CALL TO THE COLORS
Ye strong young men of Huron,
Ye sons of Britons true,
Your fathers fought for freedom,
And now it’s up to you;
Your brother’s blood is calling,
For you they fought and died.
Brave boys with souls unconquered,
By Huns are crucified.
Ten million Hunnish outlaws,
The Kaiser’s tools and slaves,
Have strewn the sea with corpses,
And scarred the earth with graves;
They know no god but mammon;
No law but sword and flame,
They crush the weaker peoples,
With deeds we dare not name.
See Belgium rent and bleeding,
The Kaiser’s hellish work,
Armenia vainly pleading
For mercy from the Turk.
The Poles and Serbs are dying
The victims of the Huns,
With anguished voices crying,
“O send us men and guns!” [page 20]
Think of the Lusitania,
Of martyred nurse Cavell,
Then say, “Can these be human
Who act like fiends of hell.”
The Empire’s in the conflict,
And bound to see it through;
Each man the old flag shelters,
Must share the burden too.
Then rise ye sons of Huron,
All hell has broken loose,
The Kaiser’s strafe is on us,
With him we make no truce.
Come, rally to the colors
Till victory is won,
Your King country need you,
And duty must be done.
In times like these, each heart decrees
A law unto itself;
What shall it be for you and me,
Self sacrifice, or pelf?
Which shall we choose, to win or lose?
Our all is in the game:
What shall we give that Truth may live?
How much in Freedom’s name?
A hero’s heart, an honored name,
Or coward’s part, and shirker’s shame?
The awful strife, wounds and disease,
Or sordid life of selfish ease?
An open purse, our strength in full,
Or painted horse and party pull?
The trenches’ mud, and trusted word,
Or tainted blood, and rusted sword?
Soul unafraid, the prayer of faith,
Or heart dismayed at thought of death?
The noble deed, the unmarked grave,
Or craven greed our lives to save?
Where shall we stand that this fair land
No Kaiser’s strafe shall know?
Shall never feel the Prussian heel,
Nor German kultur show? [page 21]
This we will do, if we are true;
Honor the Empire’s call,
Each bear his part with loyal heart,
Lest Britain’s flag may fall.
THE SLACKER’S SON
“The teacher says at school, dad, that twenty years ago
The Kaser tried to rule, dad, and plunged the world in woe,
When Britain needed men, dad, to help to fight the Huns,
Boys dropped the plow and pen, dad, to go and man the guns.
Each man he did his share, dad, the loyal, strong and true;
I wish I had been there, dad, to fight along with you.
I’m glad you met no harm, dad, and wear no wooden peg;
For Bill’s dad lost an arm, dad, and Jim’s dad lost a leg.
The Kaiser was so strong, dad, that Britain almost lost,
The war was hard and long, dad, and none could count the cost.
Our men were firm and brave, dad, and freely shed their blood,
And many found a grave, dad, beneath the Flanders mud.
You never say a word, dad, about this awful fight;
Where is your trusty sword, dad? let’s get it out tonight.
The other fellows brag, dad, of what their dads have done,
And Jim’s dad has a flag, dad, he captured from a Hun.
And Mr. Sandy Ross, dad, who works down at the mill,
Has a Victoria Cross, dad, for fighting Kaiser Bill; [page 22]
And little Tommy Dag, dad, the youngest of your clerks,
Says his dad was at Bagdad, and shot a hundred Turks.
When we go for a walk, dad, or take our flying car,
You never want to talk, dad, about the mighty war;
Please talk to me tonight, dad, before I go to bed,
Of when you went to fight, dad.”
But dad hung down his head.
We hoped to end our troubled days
Far from the madding strife,
Erstwhile to chortle roundelays
Of peaceful country life;
But now the phone rings night and morn,
The trolleys crash and bang;
We hear the fearsome auto horn
Where once the thrushes sang
We hoped the children that we raised,
Those stalwart girls and boys,
Would follow in the trail we blazed
That selfish ease destroys;
But now, when men are needed so
To fight the mailed fist,
Our girls won’t let their husbands go,
Nor will our sons enlist.
We hoped the pirates all were dead,
Those horrid buccaneers,
Who dyed the oceans waves with red,
In wicked bygone years;
But now we mourn, as happy days.
That sanguinary past,
Since Kaiser Bill, a hundred ways,
Has Captain Kidd outclassed. [page 23]
We hoped that kings had wiser grown
Since Charles I. lost his head,
And Bonaparte was overthrown,
For painting Europe red;
But now we have the greatest kill
Since cavemen fought with stones.
Behold the Kaiser’s butcher bill!
Ten million dead men’s bones.
The maple leaf is stained with red,
Deeper than autumn’s dye;
On foreign fields our noble dead
Their valor testify.
Cut off, out-numbered, ten to one,
By wolfish German pack
Our men like heroes fought and won,
They kept the Teutons back.
They held their post, they saved the day,
Those young lions from the West;
What higher tribute can we pay,
“They fought like Britain’s best.”
When reinforcements came at last,
Then woe betide the Huns,
From man to man the word was passed
“We must retake the guns.”
Mid rifle ball, and poison bomb,
Shrapnel and shrieking shell,
And all the hell of Kaiserdom,
They charged, while hundreds fell.
With fearless eye and ringing cheer,
They made that wild advance,
For life was cheap and glory dear.
Those bloody days in France.
O, life is short to him who gives
Long years for selfish pay;
In righteous cause, the soldier lives
A lifetime in a day. [page 24]
THE CANADIAN ARMY
The news, “the Old Land’s in it”
Stirred us one August morn,
Then waited not a minute
The fearless British born.
They were the first to offer
To die for England’s name
Scorning the shirking scoffer
Who would not play the game.
But when the German Kaiser
Of victories could brag,
Canadians got wiser
And rallied round the flag,
The Orangemen, stout-hearted,
The cheery lads in green
When once the ball was started
In khaki garb were seen.
A regiment of Tories,
A regiment of Grits,
Discarded party worries
To give the Kaiser fits.
Battalions of free thinkers,
and regiments of Jews,
And some of water drinkers,
And some that hit the booze.
A regiment of Chinese,
A regiment of Yanks,
A regiment with fine knees
And bare and brawny shanks,
A regiment of teachers
Who laid aside the birth,
And one of sons of preachers,
A credit to the Church.
A regiment of Colonels
Who couldn’t get a sit,
(To judge by their externals
They’re feeling fine and fit);
A regiment of slackers,
A regiment of thieves,
And one of bold bushwackers,
All wearing maple leaves. [page 25]
Battalions, too, of Frenchmen,
The breed that never yields,
Are making splendid trench men,
On Belgium’s bloody fields.
Battalions from the prairies
Now man the smoking tubes;
From London and St. Marys,
A regiment of rubes.
Thus, to defend the nation,
They rallied to a man,
Our fighting population
Not one from danger blenches,
They vie in skill and pluck,
And, when they reach the trenches,
We call them all Canuck.
FIGHT OR PAY
The cause of Freedom needs our help,
The Old Land’s in the fray,
It’s up to every lion’s whelp
To either fight or pay.
The bloody Turk and Savage Hun
Still ravish, burn and slay,
Each loyal son must man a gun,
Or stay at home and pay.
Our sisters, mothers, sweethearts, wives,
They nurse, and knit, and pray,
Let men forego their selfish lives,
And either fight or pay.
The call is clear to sacrifice
Our life, our purse, our play:
Ere Honor dies, let us arise
And either fight or pay.
“England expects from every man
His duty on this day,”
’Twas thus Lord Nelson’s message ran
Ere he began the fray.
Shall we our noble heritage,
See crumbling down like clay,
This goodly age, a blotted page,
And neither fight nor pay? [page 26]
Nay! While our British blood runs red,
Let those refuse who may,
We’ll heed what mighty Nelson said
On old Trafalgar day,
From cottage, castle, palace, hall,
We’ll come without delay,
At duty’s call, and stake our all,
To fight, or pay, or pray. [page 27]
HUNTING THE WERE-WOLF
The jungle law is broken;
From forest, field and plain,
The beasts and birds have spoken,
“The Traitor must be slain,”
The surly bear comes growling,
From out his lonesome den;
He hears the were-wolf howling,
Athirst for blood of men.
The fierce war eagle screeches
Across the Channel deep,
His scream the lion reaches,
And rouses him from sleep;
The busy beaver hiding
In far-off northern wood,
The mighty bull moose, striding
In stately solitude.
The humpy, bumpy cattle,
The tiger from his lair,
Go down into the battle
Beside the timid hare.
The elephant and camel,
The ostrich and emu,
Weird things, both bird and mammal,
And old man kangaroo.
All vow, by fur and feather,
Each with one purpose filled,
To work and fight together,
Until the were-wolf’s killed.
Meanwhile, in war’s arena,
Unmoved by tears and groans,
The buzzard and hyena
Pick clean the victims’ bones. [page 30]
’Cause brother Ben has gone to fight
Across the sea so far,
I like to sit around at night
And read about the war,
But when I think me and my chums
Are fighting Fritz in France,
My ma asks if I’ve done my sums;
A feller gets no chance.
And when I’m marching proudly back
With fifty captured Huns,
My dad will say ‘retire Jack’.
That’s how they spike my guns.
My teacher’s a conscriptionist,
She calls me “Johnnie dear,”
But backs it with an iron fist
And so I volunteer.
I got kept in at school one day
For lessons not half learned,
And when dad asked, “Why this delay?”
I said I’d been interned.
And when our test exams came out
And mine were extra bad,
I said, “We needn’t fuss about
A scrap of paper, dad.”
When sister’s chap comes round at night,
And pa seems in a rage,
Ma only smiles; she knows all right,
It’s just dad’s camoflage,
And when I entertain this beau
While Sis puts on her dress,
Sometimes I get a dime, you know;
That’s strategy, I guess.
My dad is getting rather stout,
And hates to mow the lawn;
But when he gets the mower out,
First thing he knows I’m gone;
But when I’ve trouble with my pa
No matter what it’s for,
I make an ally of my ma,
And then I win the war. [page 31]
THE TRENCH THAT FRITZ BUILT
This is the trench that Fritz built.
This is the Hun who lay in the trench that Fritz built.
This is the gun that killed the Hun who lay in the trench that Fritz built.
This is the farmer’s only son, who mans the gun that killed the Hun, who lay in the trench that Fritz built.
This is the farmer, weary and worn, who raised the son, who mans the gun, that killed the Hun, who lay in the trench that Fritz built.
This is she, who in youth’s bright morn, was wed to the man, now weary and worn, ’tis she to whom the son was born, who in front of the battle, all tattered and torn, still mans the gun that killed the Hun, who lay in the trench that Fritz built.
This is the slacker, all shaven and shorn, who drives a car with a tooting horn, and laughs at the farmer weary and worn, and his wife at work in the early morn, hoeing potatoes and beets and corn, because the son, who to them was born, is in front of the battle, all tattered and torn, still manning the gun that killed the Hun, who lay in the trench that Fritz built.
This is the maid who treats with scorn the shifty slacker, all shaven and shorn, and his shining car with the tooting horn, but honors the farmer weary and worn, and his wife who helps him hoe the corn, and milk the cows in the early morn, for she loves the son who to them was born, who in front of the battle all tattered and torn, still mans the gun that killed the Hun, who lay in the trench that Fritz built! [page 32]
TEN LITTLE SLACKERS
Ten little slackers standing in a line,
One went to U. S., then there were nine.
Nine little slackers out for a skate,
One broke his leg and then there were eight.
Eight little slackers playing odd and even,
Got in a mix up and then there were seven.
Seven little slackers sucking sugar sticks,
One got dyspepsia, then there were six.
Six little slackers only half alive,
One got married and then there were five.
Five little slackers out on a spree,
Auto turned turtle, and then there were three.
Three little slackers in a canoe,
Simpleton rocked the boat, then there were two.
Two little slackers, one was a Hun,
He got imprisoned, then there was one.
One little slacker, war nearly won,
He got conscripted, then there were none.
One little, two little, three little slackers,
Four little, five little, six little slackers,
Seven little, eight little, nine little slackers,
Ten little slacker men.
Jack Sprat can eat no fat,
His wife can eat no lean,
Because upon their platter now
No meat is ever seen.
Make a cake, make a cake, my good man,
Make it of treacle and cornmeal and bran,
Tick it and pick it and mark it with B,
And eat if for breakfast and dinner and tea.
Little deeds and mortgages,
Little bonds and stocks,
Help amid financial storms
To keep us off the rocks. [page 34]
Little loads of stove wood,
Little jags of coal,
Make our pocket books look sick,
And puts us in the hole.
Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,
Eating his whole wheat pie,
He looked pretty glum for he found not a plum,
And he said, I don’t like this old pie.
Little Tommy Tucker sang for his supper,
What did he sing for? White bread and butter;
But he had to take corn-cake instead of white bread,
With oleomargarine on it to spread.
Farmer Dingle had a little pig,
Not very little and not very big;
It weighed two hundred or a few pounds over
And brought fifty dollars when sold to a drover.
Then Famer Dingle stood up and lied,
And Mrs. Dingle sat down and cried,
“Hogs eat so much valuable feed,” said he,
“They need,” said he,
“Good feed,” said she,
So there’s really no money in pigee wigee wee.
One little man went to battle,
One little man stayed at home,
One little man got white bread and butter,
One little man got none,
One little man cried see, see, see,
You’ll eat brown bread
Till the war is done.
Tom, Tom, the piper’s son,
Stole a pig and away he run,
“High cost of meat
I’ve got you beat,”
Said Tom, while making his retreat.
Jack, Nick and Jill went after Bill,
And fought on land and water,
Till Nick fell down and lost his crown,
And Bill went tumbling after. [page 35]
There was a crooked man
Who wore a crooked smile,
And built a crooked railroad
O’er many a crooked mile,
He got some crooked statesmen
To play his crooked games,
And they all got crooked titles
Before their crooked names.
Sing a song of sixpence,
Country going dry,
Four and twenty booze shops
Selling no more rye.
When the bars were open,
Whiskey had its fling,
Now we ride the water cart,
Along with George, our king.
Once dad, in the bar room,
Counted out his money,
Weary mother sat at home,
Patching clothes for sonny.
Now dad’s in the garden
Wearing out his clothes,
Money in his pocket,
Bloom all of his nose. [page 36]
“The world is mad, my masters,”
The poet had the facts
To prove this sweeping statement,
In man’s punk-headed acts;
For since the day when Adam
Partook of the wrong tree,
We’ve toiled, and slipped, and blundered;
“What fools these mortals be.”
Take out your horse or auto,
And drive the country roads,
And see the fields and orchards
Bearing their precious loads.
Old Mother Earth produces
With lavish hand and free,
But half is lost or ruined
By man’s stupidity.
Ten thousand tons of apples
Will surely go to waste
While poor folks in the cities
Will hardly get a taste.
We take good wheat and barley
And manufacture bums,
Whose wives and little children
Are starving in the slums.
The man that’s poor as woodwork,
And nearly always broke,
Can somehow find a nickel
To puff away in smoke;
While those who have the money
To eat and drink their fills,
Are sure to over-do it,
And run up doctor bills.
If, when the times are peaceful,
I kill one man, by heck!
They’ll call it bloody murder,
And hang me by the neck.
In war-time he’s a hero,
Who sends through air or sea
A bomb to blow a thousand
And so, dear gentle reader,
You see, by all the rules,
That earth’s whole population
Except ourselves are fools. [page 38]
When icy blasts blow fierce and wild,
Cutting the face like steel,
And summer’s heart is trodden down
’Neath winter’s iron heel,
It’s all a part of Nature’s plan,
So stay and play the game;
Next spring will bring the violets,
And roses just the same.
When Pharaoh’s lean, ill-favored kine
Have grazed the pastures brown.
And, on a parched and starving world,
The brazen sun glares down;
Though Canaan’s forests, fields and farms,
Are scorched, as with a flame,
There’s food in Joseph’s granaries
In Egypt just the same.
When Pharaoh makes the tasks more hard
For overburdened hands,
And stubble fields refuse the straw
His tale of bricks demands:
What matter if our little lives
Go out in fear and shame?
The waters of the mighty Nile
Flow outward just the same.
When, at the front, to bar the way,
The Red Sea waters stand,
And Egypt’s hosts are close behind,
A fierce, relentless band;
Intent their firstborn to avenge,
Look up, and see the pyramids,
Their Hebrew slaves to claim:
Firm standing, just the same.
When human ghouls hell’s lid uplift
To plunder, burn, and kill,
And truth seems driven from her throne,
Say to your heart, “Be still!”
Don’t think that Freedom’s day is done,
And Honor but a name,
For right still reigns, and planets gleam
In Heaven, just the same. [page 39]
THE FRIENDLY SPIES
A Tale of Camp Borden
The main camping ground of the Huron Indians was near where Camp Borden is now situated.
Where soldiers build their camp fires,
At night there gather ’round
The Spirits of the Hurons
From Happy Hunting ground,
No sentry hears their footsteps,
They need no countersigns;
As silent as the moonlight,
They pass within the lines.
Fierce shine their dusky faces
As through the tents they glide,
Once more they smell the war paint
And know a warrior’s pride;
The white man’s modern weapons
Their ghostly fingers feel,
The guns so swift and deadly,
The long sharp blades of steel.
They nod to one another,
Nor knew so wild a joy
Since, leagued with the Algonquins,
They fought the Iroquois;
Among the sleeping soldiers
They pass the silent night,
And nudge, and smile, and whisper,
“White brother make big fight.”
When shafts of light are breaking
Across the eastern sky,
They wrap their mantles ’round them,
And breathe a soft “Good-bye”,
Then vanish like the shadows
That lurk among the trees,
The sentry hearing only
The sighing of the breeze. [page 40]
JACK CANUCK TO UNCLE SAM
Take down your old gun, Uncle Sammy,
All your pockets with cartridges cram;
The war fogs that rise, cold and clammy,
Seem to frighten you some, Uncle Sam,
You once were the first to get ready,
The most eager in Liberty’s fight,
Your brain, Unc. was clear, calm and steady,
When you battled for justice and right.
Time was when each star in Old Glory
Shone for freedom all round the wide world.
The winds and the waves told the story
Wheresoever its folds were unfurled;
But now your good rifle is rusty,
All your work of long years is undone.
Old Glory, bedraggled and dusty,
Is insulted and scorned by the Hun.
There once was a time, Uncle Sammy,
When the honor of sister and wife,
E’en that of a poor negro mammy,
You’d defend, Uncle Sam, with your life.
But now, what’s the matter, I wonder,
You see womanhood treated like junk,
And think but of guarding your plunder:
Can you tell me the reason? dear Unc?
It seems that your head isn’t level,
With your Wilsons, and Bryans and Fords,
You let things all go to the devil,
And protect your poor people with words.
It can’t be the killing that vexes,
And prevents you from getting your gun,
You’re lynching men now, down in Texas
For one-tenth that the Kaiser has done. [page 41]
Brave Sammy’s a fighter, who said he was slow,
That Duffeldorf blighter was running his show?
The fellow who hinted that Sammy was slack,
With praise, now, unstinted, should take it all back;
For Sammy’s a wonder, and now going strong,
(’Twas Somebody’s blunder that held him so long)
He’s just the right fellow, we’re glad that he came,
The chap that is yellow has some other name.
This Sammy’s a dandy; when once in the race,
He makes himself handy in any old place:
Can preach a good sermon, or sing a good song,
Or lick any German who happen along:
A single hand talker, as good as the best,
A two fisted fighter [handwritten: KNOCKER], with hair on his chest,
A long distance hiker, who never goes lame;
He’s not any piker whatever the game.
There’s no one that’s quicker at pulling a gun,
He’ll sure be a sticker when facing the Hun;
Can camp in a palace, or live in a tent,
Drink wine from a chalice, or eat meat in Lent:
Sweet tongued to the ladies and kind to the kids
Condemns things to Hades, when down by the skids;
At home on the river, plantation or farm,
Sometimes a high liver does himself harm.
Abstemious, very, when prices are high,
He learns to be merry without any pie;
An expert at poker, with money to spare,
A down and out broker who plays solitaire;
An orator forceful, a whale to invent,
O Sammy’s resourceful, a versatile gent,
Thought late in the race, Sam, we wish you good luck,
Come on, take your place, Sam, with Johnnie Canuck. [page 42]
FRANCE TO COLUMBIA
Columbia, my sister,
Republic great and free,
When Liberty was threatened
I looked in vain to thee;
That hope was vain, my sister,
You lost your greatest chance;
Men live on lies in Utah,
Men die for truth in France.
Columbia, my sister,
You saw my blood run red,
My sons and daughters murdered,
The tears my orphans shed;
You raised no voice in protest,
To stop the Hun’s advance;
Men live at ease in Kansas,
With hell let loose in France.
Columbia, my sister,
Your children you have seen,
Drowned in the cruel ocean
By German submarine;
But baseball is important,
The theatre and dance,
And pleasure rules in Texas
While horror reigns in France.
Columbia, my sister,
In sordid love of gain
Your vultures and hyenas
Wax fat upon the slain;
The nations, sorrow stricken,
Receive your carless glance,
And wealth in Massachusetts
Means poverty in France.
Columbia, my sister,
I know your heart is right,
Though on your head has fallen
This hellish Hunnish blight;
I love you still, my sister,
And warn you, lest perchance
The Huns may rule Wisconsin
When driven out of France. [page 43]
Jim marched away one summer day
To fight the boastful Hun,
In khaki clad, as fine a lad
As ever carried gun,
No braver knight e’er went to fight,
In shining coat of mail,
In days of old, for love of gold,
Or for the Holy Grail.
His aim was sure, his heart was pure,
Like good Sir Galahad,
He played the game when hardships came
His face was always glad,
Until, by chance, somewhere in France,
He saw a “Hometown Sun,”
He read one page, then in a rage
He strafed it like a Hun.
The girl he loved had faithless proved,
And German slacker wed;
That cruel stroke Jim’s spirit broke,
He wished that he were dead.
He who had been so straight and clean,
And every fellow’s chum,
Now lived apart with hardened heart,
And soaked himself with rum.
’Mid rats and mice and fleas and lice
He spent his days and nights;
Waist deep in mud, besmeared with blood,
He fought a hundred fights;
His faith was lost, the angel host
Of Mons he didn’t see;
No Comrade White beheld his plight,
With loving sympathy.
The devil strip, where bullets zipp,
The narrow neutral band
Where man to man they fight and plan
To win that “No Man’s Land”:
Here Jim would go to hunt the foe,
He thought it only fun,
And that day lost that couldn’t boast
Another slaughtered Hun. [page 44]
His awful deeds so say the creeds,
Jim’s bright young manhood marred;
His health was sound, he got no wound,
But sin his spirit scarred.
Some lost their health, some lost their wealth,
Of all war took its tool,
Some lost their life in bloody strife,
Jim only lost his soul.
THE ORGY OF THOR
The war god calls whate’er befalls
His orders must be filled,
Though work may stop in mine and shop,
And farms may lie untilled.
At his command each human hand
Must toil to pay the price
In coal, or meat, or wool or wheat,
Oil, cotton, corn or rice.
From pole to pole he takes control
Of land, and air, and tide,
Then death and dearth fill all the earth,
And hell’s gate opens wide.
Fierce robber bands, o’er desert sands
No white man ever saw,
Bring all their spoil, with endless toil,
To fill the monster’s maw.
O’er ice and snow the huskies go,
Beneath the northern star,
And gather toll, a scanty dole,
To pay the god of war.
From out the States go mighty freights
Of cotton, corn and oil;
From West to East, to feed the beast,
The people save and toil.
The West’s astir, the binders whirr
Around the settler’s shack;
The threshers hum, lest winter come
Before the wheat’s in sack. [page 45]
The bullocks strain on loaded wain,
Piled high with bales of wool,
A season’s clip from shed to ship;
The cargo must be full.
The drivers swear, the bulls by pair
Plunge panting through the dust,
Like things accurst they die of thirst
The war gods say they must.
Where battle fields dread harvests yield
The war god’s revels be,
Where blood runs red, he counts the dead,
And shrieks and howls in glee.
With fiendish laughs, he fiercely quaffs
The precious crimson tide;
He’ll drink his fill, nor rest until
His blood lust’s satisfied.
MOTES AND BEAMS
We condemn, with hot curses, the Hun
For his piracy, perjury, pride,
For his nameless atrocities done,
For the ten million victims that died.
Then we’ll lift holy hands to the skies,
When the day our victory comes,
While pale children, with piteous cries,
Starve for bread in the slime of our slums.
We despite the degenerate Yank
With his blood-spattered idol of gold,
Who, his birthright, for cash in the bank,
And political pottage has sold.
Then we send our poor boys to the war
With a prayer that they keep themselves clean,
And we purchase a shining new car,
Praying harder for cheap gasoline.
We detest the false Bulgars and Greeks:
They must learn to be true to their friends:
They have proved themselves traitors and sneaks,
Using war for their own selfish ends. [page 46]
But our grafters their pockets may fill,
While valiantly waving the flag,
Caring nothing who settles the bill,
If they only get off with the swag.
We abhor the unspeakable Turk,
For his orgies murder and shame,
His detestable devilish work
Done in honor of Allah’s fair name;
Then we pray as the Pharisee prayed,
While afar off the publican stood,
But forget the Creator has made
All the children of men of one blood.
This world has spots made holy
By deeds or lives of love.
Has shrines where high and lowly
Alike, their hearts may prove;
This age when faith might falter
Mid shriek of shot and shell,
Has added one more altar,
The grave of Nurse Cavell.
She cared for sick and dying,
Knew neither friend nor foe,
She spent her strength in trying
To heal a neighbor’s woe.
For deeds by love inspired
The Kaiser’s vengeance fell
On form so frail and tired,
Heroic Nurse Cavell.
What though the Prussian kultur
Now threatened her with death;
She met the screaming vulture
In simple quiet faith,
“I am an English woman,
I love my country well,
But must not hate a foeman,”
Said kindly Nurse Cavell. [page 47]
She faced the guns with even,
Calm, fearless, English eyes,
And then, her foes forgiven,
Made willing sacrifice;
Thus, at the midnight hour,
In Prussian prison cell,
Crushed by a tyrant’s power,
Died Christlike Nurse Cavell.
But when no more war legions
In battles fierce are hurled,
When, to remotest regions,
Peace reigns throughout the world;
Where’re beyond the waters
The British peoples dwell,
Mothers will tell their daughters
The tale of Nurse Cavell.
’TWAS EVER THUS
O preacher, prophet, martyr, sage,
Whose message falls on heedless ears,
Bethink that unrepentant age
When Noah preached for six score years;
See Israel to Baal bowed,
The persecuting Pharisee,
And all the loaves and fishes crowd
Beside the sea of Galilee.
O patriot of humble birth,
With heart to help a fellow man,
To reconstruct the things of earth
Upon a nobler, wiser plan;
The curse that mars the lowly born
Will dog your footsteps till your death,
The proud Judeans’ words of scorn,
“No good thing comes from Nazareth.”
O mother, when your son lies dead,
You hate this cruel world of blood,
You pay the price, with grief bowed head,
The age-old price of motherhood.
’Twas thus Eve mourned o’er Abel’s loss,
Naomi grieved in tents of Shem,
’Twas thus she wept beside the cross
Who bore a son in Bethlehem. [page 48]
O soldier with the shattered breast,
Beside the shell swept Flanders road,
The One who gives the weary rest
Knows all the burden of your load.
The anguished thirst, the bitter pain,
A Father’s face He could not see,
The hate of man, sin’s awful stain,
He bore them all on Calvary.
The ego of the human race,
The sordid love of self,
We see it in life’s hurried chase,
The grafter’s greed for pelf.
The horror of the battle field,
The killed, the maimed, the blind,
The beaten foe, too proud to yield,
The ego of mankind.
The ego of the human race,
The poison in our blood,
The lying tongue, the double face,
Justice and Truth withstood.
The heavy task, the scanty pay,
The beggar with his bone,
The rich young man who went away,
The king upon his throne.
The ego of the human race,
The subtle serpent’s lie
No toilsome years can e’er efface,
“Ye shall not surely die.”
Eve still by serpent’s word beguiled,
The curse on Ham that fell,
Poor outcast Hagar’s starving child,
Cities where Lot might dwell.
The ego of the human race,
The toil each day brings in,
The idlers in the market place,
The sorrow and the sin;
Bequeathed from pre-historic sire,
In Turk and Teuton still,
The ape’s inordinate desire,
The tiger’s lust to kill. [page 49]
We’re fighting now for liberty
Where’er our armies are,
We wouldn’t want our king to be
A Kaiser, or a Czar.
We want no rabbi with his book,
No priest in sable stole,
For priest and rabbi ne’er can brook
The freedom of the soul.
We must be free, to work, or play,
Or loaf, just when we like,
And if we get too little pay,
Be free to go on strike:
And if, perchance, we gain our goal,
And wealth to us should come,
We must be free to take our toll,
From workman’s scanty crumb.
We must be free to hit the booze
That steals our children’s bread,
The cash that ought to buy them shoes,
Pour down our necks instead.
We must be free to come and go;
No Russ nor Hun are we,
There’s nothing grander here below
Than British liberty.
But when, from nations drowned in tears,
For crimes by Kaiser done,
The cry goes forth for volunteers
To come and fight the Hun;
We must be free at home to stay,
While others take their chance
“Of finding little homes of clay”
In Flanders or in France.
TWENTY YEARS AFTER
Where men make bloody sacrifice,
And pile the earth with slain,
Kind Mother Nature ever tries
To cover up the stain. [page 50]
’Mid charnel of the tiger’s den
May pure white lilies blow,
And on the graves of warlike men
The peaceful daisies grow.
The grass is all the greener now
Where men most fiercely strove,
And maids may hear on Vimy’s brow
The cooing of the dove.
Where cannon roared by night and day,
And men in thousands fell,
The sunny headed children play,
And pick up bits of shell.
Where once raged war’s infernal din,
And bullets fell like rain
The peaceful peasants gather in
A hundred fold of grain;
And where men plied the deadly steel,
And blood ran red like wine,
We see the holy sisters kneel
Beside the rebuilt shrine.
And over on the rising ground
The fresh young maples stand
To mark the graves of those who found
Death in a foreign land;
Here women of the nameless woes,
Still pray when day is done,
That God will rest the souls of those
Who strafed the hellish Hun.
The soldier, when the war began,
Presumed the cause was right,
But didn’t ask the campaign’s plan;
His duty was to fight.
The child, with all things yet to prove,
Still thinks the world is fair,
While trusting in a mother’s love,
And in a father’s care. [page 51]
The patient ’neath the surgeon’s knife
Unconscious is, and still,
The only hope to save his life
Is in the doctor’s skill.
The farmer sows in faith his seed,
And trusts the sun and rain,
Meanwhile he fights the choking weed
That grows among the grain.
The planets in their orbits roll,
The seasons come and go,
The angry seas own God’s control,
His care the sparrows know.
But we, by pride made over bold,
Face Providence unawed,
And like the patriarch of old,
Presume to question God.
Ten thousand prayers in discord rise
From church and cloister dim,
When will we cease our feeble cries,
And trust the world to Him?
’Tis His the broken heart to bind,
To heal the serpent’s bite,
The judge is He of all mankind,
And shall He not do right?
If you want a fine new car,
If you like a good cigar,
Cut it out,
Thrift will help to win the war,
There’s no doubt.
If you are too old to fight,
You can pay,
If you think war isn’t right,
You can pray,
Help to crush the Kaiser’s might
As you may. [page 52]
If you are a Tory gay,
Or a Grit,
Throw your politics away,
Do your bit,
War is now the game to play;
You are it.
If you have good things to eat,
Pack a box,
If you are a maiden neat,
Knit some socks,
Keep the soldier’s tired feet,
Off the rocks.
Get a piece of land on spec,
Plow and sow,
There’s a place for every peck,
You can grow,
Swat the Kaiser in the neck,
Issue him a passage check
THE WORLD’S OVERDRAFT
On life’s broad fields, whate’er we sow,
’Tis certain we shall reap;
The watching scribes, above, below,
Somewhere a record keep.
The faithless church, the lying creed
Teaching that wrong is right,
The childless home, the heartless greed,
The jealousy and spite.
The feasting, selfish, idle rich,
The hungry, hardened poor,
The drunkard lying in the ditch,
The brothel’s open door;
Whate’er we do, where’er we dwell,
Whate’er our names or creeds,
They total up in heaven or hell,
The sum of all our deeds.
We thought the race was to the swift,
The battle to the strong,
Like mariners with boat adrift,
We heard the siren’s song, [page 53]
We put our trust in armies vast,
In battleships and marts,
We deemed but hoodoos of the past
The prayers from human hearts.
So heavy grew the moral debt
Of every class and rank,
No further credit could we get
At Satan’s private bank.
The wealth bestowed by sea and land
We squandered in a day,
The devil took our notes of hand,
And now there’s hell to pay.
The world will drown in blood and tears,
And famine stalk abroad,
’Til men repent their sordid years
And humbly call on God.
This cruel war the Kaiser made,
(The worst since Satan fell,)
Will end when all the world has paid
Its overdraft on hell.
We condemn, as selfish slackers,
Those not willing to enlist
To oppose the Prussian Kultur
And the Kaiser’s iron fist,
But they’re not the only slackers,
Those who will not go and fight,
For every man’s a slacker
Who does less now than he might.
There are slackers in the pulpit,
In the elder’s cushioned pew,
And all through the congregation
There are slackers not a few.
There are slackers in the workshop,
There are slackers on the farm,
And slackers down in Parliament
Whose defeat would do no harm.
Some munition men are slackers,
And some who store our food,
While they dream of higher profits
And of interest accrued. [page 54]
We condemn the youthful shirker
And we say his heart’s not right,
But there’s many an arrant slacker
Not eligible to fight.
So let each and all get busy,
If we could the Kaiser thrash,
From the man who owns the millions
To the girl who slings the hash,
All the women busy knitting,
All the men out hoeing beans,
For the war may be decided
By the work behind the scenes.
THE LOYAL BLACKS
Three years ago the war began,
Three years ago to-day
The Empire’s call to every man
Was either fight or pay.
Some men the country well could spare
Their clear-cut duty shun
But all the Blacks have done their share
To help defeat the Hun.
My brother Jim, who worked by spells
(He had a lazy streak)
Is busy now inspecting shells
At forty bones a week.
And Jack, of course, is rather young,
He’s just nineteen or so,
And Tom had trouble with his lung
About twelve years ago.
My brother Ben would like to fight,
The Kaiser makes him wild,
But if he went ’twould not be right,
He has a wife and child.
I cannot lease my farm and store,
With prices soaring higher,
If times keep good for two years more
I think I can retire.
Although we didn’t volunteer
And learn the soldier’s art, [page 55]
We hold some good positions here
And bravely do our part,
While some the khaki suits have donned,
And in the trenches slave
We put into a war loan bond
Each dollar we can save.
But there are lots of husky chaps
Could go as well as not,
There’s Arther Mee and Joe perhaps,
Paul Pierce and Barney Bott,
And Peter Jones and Sam Delong,
And Jack Smith’s hired man,
And Scotty Moss, and Wesley Strong,
And Billy Barlow’s Dan.
And Robert Green and Walter White,
And others I could name;
When these refuse to go and fight
It is a burning shame;
I think they should be forced to go,
Conscription is the plan
To catch these chaps so very slow
And make them play the man.
THE TROUBLES OF TINO
War pot still is stewing,
Not a sign of peace,
Trouble now is brewing
’Round the shores of Greece;
Tino needs our pity,
Threatened by the Huns,
Seaboard, town and city
Faced by British guns.
If he helps the Germans
Lose his job for life;
If he favors Britain
Has to square his wife.
Holds no trumps nor aces,
Cannot take a trick,
Cards are all queen’s faces,
Tino’s feeling sick.
Tino never whistles,
Neither does he sing,
Bed of thorns and thistles;
Who would be a king? [page 56]
HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?
What a lack of reason
In this earthly throng!
In and out of season
Everything goes wrong;
Over there in Europe
Kaiser king and czar
Raise a mighty flare up,
Plunge a world in war.
Neither king nor Kaiser
Down in Mexico,
Are the people wiser?
Echo answers, “No!”
There, contending factions
Murder, pillage, burn;
Plunder and exactions
Everywhere you turn.
Has the world gone crazy?
Are the men all fools?
Is our thinking hazy,
Spite of all our schools?
The wind that through the forest blows
May scatter leaves and blossoms wide,
The parent tree but firmer grows
When by the tempest torn and tried.
The stately oak withstands the storm
That rocks its boughs in fiercest strife;
The winds that shake its sturdy form
But give a deeper, stronger life.
The maple leaves are falling fast,
The sugar groves look gaunt and grim,
But sap will flow when winter’s past,
And sweetness course through every limb.
The mighty eucalyptus tree
But sheds its bark at winter’s call
Its leaves retain their greenery,
And yield a curing oil for all. [page 57]
A seeding in the Maori’s time,
Now, toughened by a thousand gales,
Straight stands the kauri in its prime,
Fit mast for proudest ship that sails.
Drooping its weary fronds, the palm
In sorrow stands on sun-baked plain
Till comes, like blessed healing balm,
The early and the latter rain.
The noble banyan dying lives,
In youth ’twould shield a single man,
In age its spreading shelter gives
Shade for a prince’s caravan.
No weaklings these, their roots deep down
In Mother Earth retain their hold,
To heaven they raise a leafy crown,
Sound-hearted, loyal, earnest-souled.
Our lot is cast in evil days
We almost lose our faith in God,
We cannot comprehend His ways,
Nor recognize His chast’ning rod.
To stem the Hun’s relentless tread,
His hymns of hate, his crimes of Cain
We give our daily toll of dead,
But wonder if ’tis all in vain.
Brave men must fight, brave men must fall,
Whene’er a tyrant lifts his head;
When Freedom sounds her battle call,
We must not grudge our noble dead.
E’en now the victor’s shouts we hear,
On blood bought hill, o’er shell-swept plain;
The end of tyranny is near,
Our struggle has not been in vain.
If, when our cheering shall have died,
No more for sordid gain we plan,
But shed the hoofs and horn of pride,
And strive to help our fellow man, [page 58]
So each will get a fair return
For labor done by hand or brain
And none can take what others earn;
The war will not have been in vain.
If still the selfish creed we preach
Of pleasure, ease and strife for gold;
Employer, and employee, each
Resentful, greedy, uncontrolled;
Then poor men still will curse the great,
And hellish hordes will rise again
With hungry, hardened, Hunnish hate;
This war will have been fought in vain.
When the war shall have ceased with its sorrow,
Its hunger, and horror and hell,
In the dawn of a brighter to-morrow,
What tale will historians tell?
Will the nations get records of glory,
Of cowardice, courage or crime,
When the sages record the true story,
To ring down the decades of time?
We believe that some peoples now broken,
And crushed by the Turk and the Hun
Will arise from their darkness unspoken,
And stand in the light of the sun.
And it may be that Germans, grow wiser
And taught at so fearful a cost.
Will have hanged their contemptible Kaiser
And regained the fair name they have lost.
We believe that the allies now fighting,
And lavishing billions untold,
Will have found, in the wrong that needs righting,
A service far better than gold;
That in bearing the load of another,
In heeding the cry of the pained,
That in staying the feet of a brother,
Fresh strength for themselves will have gained. [page 59]
And some lands that now cravenly study
The getting of guerdons and gain,
May have found their gold blasted and bloody,
And tarnished by tears for the slain;
And because they dishonoured their stations
Were weak when they should have been strong,
May be treated with scorn by the nations,
A byword and hissing among.
So the scribe will set down in his pages
The story the centuries tell,
That, for sin, death is still the true wages,
And broad the road leading to hell.
GERMAN SECURITIES FALL
The British guns have spoken
And Bill may lose his crown,
The German line is broken,
And saur-kraut is down.
That gallant French are storming
The Huns with iron hail;
They’ve given Fritz a warning,
And limburger is stale.
The Russ is westward pushing,
Herding the Huns like sheep,
Thus ends the big four flushing,
And liverwurst is cheap.
King Victor’s brave Italians
Are driving back pell-mell
The Austrian battalions
And weiners will not sell.
The Belgians, too, are holding
Their end up with the rest,
They hear the Teutons scolding,
Bologna’s past its best.
Roumanians, and others,
Who now are standing pat
Will call the allies brothers
When lager beer goes flat. [page 60]
TROUBLE IN THE TRENCHES
The true story of the difficulty on the Russian front.
When Slav and Russ had raised a fuss,
And sent their Czar a-kitting,
Said Givinski to Blathersi,
“We’ve done enough of fighting.”
“I’ve got a cough,” wheezed Killmanoff,
“From working in the trenches,
I’d rather fight a doggoned sight,
Than put up with the stenches.
I want to quit and take a sit
In some place clean and brighter,
Let those who like come down the pike
To strafe the German blighter.”
“I’ve got the itch,” growled Dirtovitch,
“Bog spavin and lumbago,”
“I’m never dry,” swore Goshallski,
“I smell worse than a Dago.”
“This cheese is high,” grouched Buttinski
“No hungry rat would eat it.”
“This meat is tough,” whined Ivanuff,
“I think we ought to beat it.”
“It makes me mad,” stormed Hazembad,
“The prevalence of vermin.”
“You’ve said it right,” owned Gotabite,
“I’m lousy as a German.”
Said Takemoff, “Our lives are rough
In these here blooming ditches,
But mine’s the worst by half a verst,
Since some guy stole my breeches.”
Their pay was back, their belts were slack,
Each man his troubles blurted.
With empty guns to face the Huns,
Small wonder they deserted. [page 61]
Wo Sing was just a heathen blind,
A dull insensate clod,
Yet somehow to his darkened mind,
There came a though of God.
He shaped an idol out of clay,
And to it bowed his knee;
No one had taught him how to pray,
Alas, the poor Chinee!
An artist took his brush and paint,
And on his canvas board,
He wrought a picture of a saint,
And called it Christ the Lord;
With patient hand, and wondrous skill,
Retouched that kindly face,
But thought it ever lacking still,
In majesty and grace.
A preacher in his pulpit stood,
(His words the people trust,)
His message was that God is good,
And knows mankind is dust.
He drew a picture of a Lord,
Omniscient, pure and kind,
His thoughts, His purposes, His word,
Too high for human mind.
The Kaiser has conceived a god,
To rule o’er sea and land,
With strong, remorseless, iron rod,
In Hohenzollern hand;
A god who honors lies and fraud,
And mean hypocrisy,
A boastful, bloody, brutal god,
The god of Germany.
And thus we all our idols make,
As our conception is,
And pray our Father, but to take,
Our helpless hands in His;
To give us each a ray of hope,
To each a message bring,
Each king and Kaiser, priest and pope,
Each humble poor Wo Sing. [page 62]
TO JEAN BAPTISTE
O Jean Baptiste! do not resist
The military act, Jean;
You like to fight, the cause is right,
(You know this is a fact, Jean.)
When tasks are heard, ’tis not, old pard,
Your wary to ever shirk, Jean;
The saw-log jam, mills, woods and dam
All tell how well you work, Jean.
It isn’t fear that keeps you here,
You’re active, brave and strong, Jean;
But in this scrap, by some mishap,
We got you going wrong, Jean.
In dear old France, the Huns advance
With bullet, bomb and gas, Jean,
It’s hardly square that you’re not there;
(Hank Bourassa’s an ass, Jean.)
That we may win, you must begin
To help more in this fight, Jean,
The die is cast, forget our past
Intolerance and spite, Jean,
The things you love may worthless prove,
If you don’t get your gun, Jean;
Your woods, and mines, your homes and shrines,
May all go to the Hun, Jean.
Our kinsmen brave, across the wave.
The Kaiser have defied, Jean,
British and French, in bloody trench,
Are fighting side by side, Jean.
Where duty leads, what matter creeds,
Or what baptismal font, Jean?
So let us sing—“Long live the king”
And join the bonne entente, Jean.
THE LOST TRIBES
We read about the tribes dispersed,
That Israelitish host,
Condemned and exiled, sin-accursed,
Among the Gentiles lost, [page 63]
We wonder what strange paths they walk,
In what far land they dwell,
Where now does Reuben feed his flock,
And Joseph buy and sell?
In search of them we vainly roam
Through distant, foreign states,
Then find a people nearer home
With all the Hebrew traits.
They seize the heathen nations’ land,
And hold it by the sword,
And deem themselves a righteous band,
The chosen of the Lord.
They deem themselves a righteous band,
And for religion’s sake
They bravely compass sea and land
One proselyte to make.
They drive poor Hagar from their homes
The wilderness to search,
While Abraham, forsooth, becomes
A pillar in the church.
They scorn their dreaming brother’s right
To visions he may have,
And to the warring Ishmaelite
They sell him as a slave.
Unmoved they hear the cry of pain,
Old Jacob’s wailing note,
“An evil beast my son has slain,
There’s blood on Joseph’s coat.”
When wearied on the desert track,
With hunger faint and weak,
Egyptian flesh pots lure them back,
The garlic and the leek.
The fruitful promised land they view,
But fear to enter in.
And wander still, a faithless crew,
The Wilderness of Sin.
Their enemies before them flee.
Their foemen’s gates they hold,
But Esau’s birthright still we see
To crafty Jacob sold.
They worship Aaron’s golden calf,
But scorn his priestly rod,
And when from Marah’s springs they quaff,
They murmur against God. [page 64]
Though David’s sceptre still remains
With Judah’s royal line,
On Leah’s sons are bloody stains,
And Ephriam’s drunk with wine;
Blind Sampson, by Delilah’s shears,
Is made grind Dagon’s corn,
But only in a thousand years
Is there a Moses born.
Britannia’s word was spoken
The feeble to defend,
That promise was not broken,
She kept it to the end.
Britannia’s word is good,
Tried, tested, proved in blood,
In every land, ’mid snow or sand,
She for truth has stood.
Britannia borrowed millions
In thrifty days of old,
Now, when she asks for billions,
She always gets the gold.
Britannia’s note is good,
She signs it with her blood,
Each promise made, she fully paid,
Let cost be what it would.
Britannia’s sons are falling,
The proud, the strong, the gay,
They heard their mother calling,
They would not say her, nay.
Britannia’s sword is good,
She draws it when she should,
The flag that flies ’neath all the skies
A thousand years has stood.
The heather’s on fire. McLeans from the byre,
The hamlet, the city, the wide open plains,
The lairds and rapscallions fill up the battalions
With blue blood, with true blood, the loyal McLeans. [page 65]
They hear the drums rattle, they rush to the battle,
(Each man in the clan a base coward disdains),
They die in their glory, the trenches are gory
With red blood, with shed blood of gallant McLeans.
Afar on the heather, where hame folk foregather,
The pibroch is wailing a dirge for the slain,
The women are weeping, their lane vigils keeping,
Sair, sair, are the hearts in the clan o’ McLean.
But mony will stick it, till Kaiser Bill’s lick it,
And doontrodden people get back a’ their ain,
Then Maids will stop greeting, for soon they’ll be meeting
The bonnie brave lads o’ the clan o’ McLean.
FARMER JOHN SPEAKS HIS MIND
Those fellows down in parliament
Have kicked up such a fuss,
That now we seem election bent
To clean up all the muss.
The Grits are sharpening their swords
To give the Tories fits,
While they, with scorching bitter words
Denounce the faithless Grits.
All out of doors is fresh and green,
But no more green than we
Who help to run the Grit machine,
Or bow the Tory knee.
We hear the strident party call
In words no one believes;
The Liberals are traitors all,
The Tories all are thieves. [page 66]
The birds are singing in the trees,
Old Summer’s back at last,
The lilacs scent the morning breeze,
The crops are growing fast;
Why should we leave these peaceful scenes,
And don our vests and coats,
To hear those chaps who spilled the beans
Slangwhanging for our votes?
If we give heed to every tale
Told when the campaign’s hot,
The Tories all should be in jail,
The Grits should all be shot.
Let’s raise more chickens, calves and shoats,
The politicians shun,
Let’s grow more beans and wheat and oats,
And help defeat the Hun.
WHEN THE GAME ISN’T FAIR
As we struggle up life’s hillside
Where the road is hard and long,
Weak, discouraged, tired, lonely,
And everything gone wrong.
When we see some men refusing
Their allotted load to bear,
While their brother’s back is breaking,
Then we know the game’s not fair.
When we see some men grow wealthy,
While their brothers die in France,
We rebel at the injustice,
And demand an even chance;
When we see some children hungry,
With no decent clothes to wear,
And some other stuffed and pampered,
Then we know the game’s not fair.
When we have to pay high taxes
On our little wooden shack,
Though the mortgage isn’t settled
And the interest is back,
When the rich man’s stately mansion,
Doesn’t pay its proper share,
And he lies about his income,
Then we know the game’s not fair. [page 67]
When we read in all the papers
How our boys are strafing Fritz,
Throwing bombs into his trenches
For to blow him all to bits,
When we think of him that started
This vile war, then we declare
If the Kaiser goes unpunished
We shall know the game’s not fair.
Britty soon now fife years vill pe done
Since ve march into Belgium von day,
But since den some beeg rifers have run
Troo de pridges, I tink all de vay,
Den already de tings seemed so blain,
Ven ve shart oudt to lick the whole vorld
Ve vas sure dat us Shermans vould reign
Shoost verefer our flag vas unfurled.
For to see dat some tings can’t pe done
All dose Junker man’s heads vas too tick,
Und, inshtead of a blace in de sun,
Ve haf got, vot you call, armyshtick.
Vot dot armyshtick baper’s aboudt
I can’t get troo dis headpiece of mine
But dose fellers dot von wrote it oudt,
Und us fellers dat lost had to sign.
Shoost so soon vas dat Armyshtick made
Den does allies dey run de whole show,
For already deir plans vas all laid
Ven ve back into Shermany go.
Dere vas fellers from England und France,
Und Yankees, Italians und Japs,
Mit some hoboes dat all get a chance
From some blaces not marked on de maps.
For six months now dey talk und dey shmoke,
Mit no Shermans at all in de game
Und dey tink up von pully goot shoke,
Den dey tell us write down our name.
Dey vould take all our money und ships,
Und dose blace in de sun dat ve got.
But we ain’t handing oudt no free trips,
Und won’t sign no beace dreaty like dot. [page 68]
WHAT WE WON
Was it for this, I want to know,
We saw our boys to Flanders go;
For this that Belgium suffered so,
That France withstood the ruthless foe,
And said “No further shalt thou go,”
That Serbia was plunged in woe,
And women wept along the Po;
That Poles were herded to and fro,
And Anzacs died at Gallipo;
That Britain let her plans all go,
Laid bare her breast, and took the blow,
And held the seas ’neath sun and snow
Danger above and death below;
That Uncle Sam, though rather slow
To scrap the doctrine of Monroe,
Got busy at the final show?
For years of blood and tears, although
We boast the Kaiser’s overthrow,
The net results seem these, I trow,
That profiteers pile up the dough,
And gather where they did not sow,
That scythes of death fresh harvests mow,
Where Bolshevists fierce whiskers grow,
And no Hun yet has eaten crow;
That Wild Sinn Feiners, fallen low,
Plan proud Britannia’s overthrow,
Save these the world can little show,
But wooden crosses, row on row,
In Flanders fields, where poppies blow.
THE HOME COMING
July 1st, 1919
Now that Heinie is licked to a frazzle,
And Fritzie is clipped in the comb,
We’re holding a big razzle-dazzle
To welcome our soldier boys home.
They bore themselves brave in the battle
They kept themselves clean on parade,
They herded the Bosches like cattle
In many a nerve-racking raid. [page 69]
In order to do the boys justice,
We need all the help we can get,
Without it the contract will bust us
And swamp the committee with debt.
So we want all old timers of Wingham,
(Although the good town has gone dry)
Fast as railroad or auto can bring ’em,
To come on the first of July.
Perhaps you’ve grown rich on the prairies,
Your farm in town lots you have sold,
Or, with products of wheat fields and dairies,
Have lined all your pockets with gold,
Or it may be your harp strings are rusted,
Your measures all halting and lame,
Perhaps you’re discouraged and busted,
And tired of playing the game.
If so, come to Wingham this summer,
Forget the world’s trouble and strife,
Our program will sure be a hummer,
We’ll give you the time of your life.
We’ll make no untimely suggestions,
Concerning the length of your stay,
Nor ask you impertinent questions
About what you’ve done while away. [page 70]
FRITZ FINDS FAULT
(Canadians are using lacrosse sticks to throw hand grenades into the German trenches.”—News Item.)
“Dere is some tings not right in dis scHrap,
For dose English und French don’t fight fair
Ven dey pring in de Turco und Jap
Und de Hindu und beeg Russian bear;
But already us goot Sherman mans
Ve vas ending dot var britty quick,
Till dey shtart oop some more dirty blans,
Ven dose poys vill trow bombs mit a shtick.
Ve don’t mind some old rifles und guns,
Nor dose airships und Dreadnoughts und tings,
Ve don’t care if dey call us de Huns,
x Und ve laugh at dey song dat dey sings:
But dose teufels from Canada come,
Dey vould blay us von mean shabby trick,
For ve can’t get avay from de bomb
Dat dey trow from de end of a shtick.
Ven vet ink ve are safe for de day,
Mit goot sausage und saurkraut filled,
Dose Canadians shtart oop to blay
Mit a game dat ve nefer haf drilled.
Ven ve see dose tings fly troo de air
Den already ve feel britty sick;
If dey hit us dey don’t seem to care,
Ven dey trow dose old bombs mit a shtick.
Ven ve shoots all our cartridge avay,
Und de vagons don’t pring any more;
Ven our shells get more scarce efry day,
Mit our shirts und our breechaloons tore,
Und de shmokes und de limburger done
(Dot is spreading it on britty tick),
Den I tells you it isn’t no fun
Ven dose poys vill trow bombs mit a shtick.
FRITZ HAS ANOTHER GROUCH
(The Germans say that if it hadn’t been for the Canadian Rats they would have got through to Calais.—News Item.)
Dere’s a ting dat I’ll nefer furshtay.
Ven ve shtart oop dat goot poison gas,
Vy dose Rats don’t get oudt of de vay,
So us Shermans to Ypres can pass.
Ven ve shoots all our cartridge avay,
Dat’s already deir time to retreat;
Vot’s de use so ye makes de beeg fight,
If dose Rat’s don’t know ven dey get beat?
Mit de gas dey gets britty soon killed,
Den ve send dem de shrapnel some more,
Und de bombshell mit limburger filled,
Dat vill shmell vorse dan Duffeldorf’s shtore;
But dose beggars come back mit a rush,
Und I twice mit deir bay’nets get pricked;
Vot’s de use so ve makes de big push,
If dose Rats don’t know ven dey get licked?
I soon made some goot running, you pet!
Ven dey come like vild teufels behind;
All my life I vill dream of dem yet,
For I tought sure mine bapers vos signed.
Dey came on mit a yump und a yell
Till right into our trenches dey dashed;
Vot’s de use so ve trow de beeg shell,
If dose Rats don’t know ven dey get smashed?
Ve haf dried efry blan dat ve knows,
But to scare dem no vay haf ve found,
(How ve vish dey had shtayed vere de snows
Blows dose maples and pines all around).
Day und night dey vill put oop de shcrap,
Und already ve lose vot ve got;
Vot’s de use for us setting de trap,
If dose Rats don’t know ven dey get caught? [page 73]
THE KAISER CONSULTS FRITZ
Ven der Kaiser vould shtart some beeg shtunt,
All dose shwells den soon come to de front,
Und de prince, und de king
Seem to be de whole ting,
Mit old Fritz at de heel of de hunt.
But somedimes, ven der Kaiser’s in doubt,
Und already can’t find his vay oudt;
Ven dose hard shpots he hits,
Den he say—“Mine dear Fritz,
Vot you tinks of dis peesness, old Scoudt?”
So it vas mit dose junkers so shlick,
Dey vould soon end dis var britty quick;
But, shoost after de Marne
Dey crawl unter de barn,
For already dey feel mighty sick.
Den der Kaiser say—“Fritzie, old chap,
Let me know vot you tinks of dis shcrap;
Vill ve lick dose beeg shmoke,
Or go britty soon proke,
Mit de faderland viped off de map?”
Den I say—“Dat’s von very hard case;
Can tree jacks beat four kings und some ace?
Ven ve hafn’t de card
Ve must bluff britty hard,
Or shoost trow down our hand in disgrace.
If like checkers ve blay, don’t forget
Dey got more men dan ve haf, you pet!
If ve make some beeg shcore,
Und not man off no more,
Ve may shtop mit a draw, maybe yet.”
Den der Kaiser say—“Tanks, Mr. Strauss,
On your back dere don’t grow any moss;
I’ll shoost blay some more pranks
On dose silly old Yanks”
Den he gif me von nice iron cross. [page 74]
FRITZ IN THE HOSPITAL
Ven der Kaiser his var bugles blow,
Und say: “Fritz, to de front you must go,”
Den it vasn’t so strange,
I vas glad for de change;
But I hope mine Katrina don’t know.
Britty soon ve’re de whole of de show,
Und like vater dose goot liquors flow;
Ven, mit vine und champaigne
Ve got drunk in Louvain,
Dere vas tings mine Katrina don’t know.
Soon, already, ve fight mit de foe,
For von year, und it seems britty slow;
If I’m killed in de trench
By dose English and French
Den perhaps mine Katrina von’t know.
So dis time, ven dose hand grenades trow,
Den I tinks soon it’s time for to go;
If mine back’s full mit lead,
Not mine breast, nor mine head,
Dat’s von ting mine Katrina don’t know.
Ven dey takes me some blace down pelow,
Mit tree hundred vite peds in von row;
For dose nice English nurse
x I forget dat big curse,
But I’m glad mine Katrina don’t know.
x Gott Strafe England!
Since I’m held in dis hospital up,
Mine poor back full mit shrapnel und lead
Ven I tink of der Kaiser und Krupp,
Dere’s a ting dat von’t come troo mine head.
Vot already I’m tinking aboudt,
To pelieve in mine heart I can’t yet,
But de more dat I knows I and oudt,
Vy dose Englishmans frightened don’t get.
Ve haf guns dat vill shoot forty miles,
Dat de fort und de city deshtroys;
Ve haf Zepps, of de latest new shtyles;
Ve haf millions of men, und more poys;
Ve haf hundreds of unterseeboots
Dat all ships from de ocean vill drive,
Und ve kills, und ve burns, und ve shoots,
Till der von’t be no English alive.
But for none of dese tings vell dey shcare
It’s deir nerve, (dat’s, I tink, vat dey call),
Ven ve tink ve haf licked dem, I shwear
Dat dose English shoost laugh und blay ball.
But ven Shermans get oudt from de trench,
Den ve crawl avay somevere to shmoke.
Mit some shcooners de beeg thirst to quench,
For already our hearts are near proke.
Ven dose English come on mit a run,
Den deir officers lead all de vay;
But us Shermans get chained to de gun—
Vile de boss in some safe blace vill shtay.
Maype dat’s vy ve gets de cold feet,
Und dose English don’t scare vort a cent;
For a brivate vill nefer redreat
From de blace vere his leader first vent. [page 76]
FRITZ WRITES TO HIS FRAU
Dear Katrina—Dis letter I write
From von hospital, somevere in France,
For I get so proke oop in de fight
Dat dis maype vill pe mine last chance.
Vell, I hold von whole trench py mineself,
Mit some poys dat shoost come to de front;
Britty soon dey get laid on de shelf,
Den your Fritz haf to do de beeg shtunt.
Ven I shoots all dose English and French,
Den already I tinks I vill shmoke,
So I hunts von safe blace in de trench,
Vere de rain mit de ground doesn’t soak.
Soon I vake mit a punch from a gun,
Und I hear von Canadian say:
“Come mit me, you darned shleepy old Hun,”
Den he shteal mine seegars all avay.
Den de next ting I know I am here,
For already de vorld had turned plack;
Dat Canadian certain vos queer,
For he carry me in on his back,
From mine preast so mooch hardvare got oudt
Britty soon I can shtart von shmall shtore;
If dere’s any old junk mans aboudt,
Dey might call at dis hospital door.
Now Katrina, don’t vorry some more,
Keep de grubs from de cabbage avay,
Und pe sure dat you lock oop de door,
Ven alone in de house von must shtay.
Put some flowers on leetle Karl’s grave;
All de time now I’m glad he is dead;
Vot’s de use to grow oop strong und prave,
Only shoost to get shot troo de head?
Mine truly, Fritz.
KATRINA REPLIES TO FRITZ
Mine dear Fritz: It shoost make me feel plue
Ven I get me dat letter you write,
For already mine fears haf come true
Dat you maype get hurt in dis fight,
Vot’s de use so you make de beeg splash,
Und you hold de whole trench py your self?
Dat don’t put no more meat in mine hash
Und not any more pread on mine shelf.
Do you tink dat der Kaiser vill care?
If he gifs you von cheap iron cross,
Ven I lose mine own Fritz I can’t shpare,
Vot vill dat do to make oop mine loss?
Britty soon all de men haf gone oudt,
Und von’t maype come back any more;
Dere’s shoost left yet old Hans, mit de groudt,
Und de Duffledorf poy at de shtore.
You vill now shtay von prisoner yet,
Till already de var is all done,
But berhaps dat’s more safer, you pet,
Dan to shtand in de front of de gun.
Dere’s shoost von ting I tell you; bevare
Of dose nurse mit de shining plack eyes,
If dey got some pink cheeks, und brown hair,
Your Katrina is double deir size.
Vot you tink, Fritz? Der Kaiser’s men come,
Under de cherries all pick from de trees,
Den dey take all mine apples und plum,
Und mine carrots und cabbages seize;
De potatoes dey go mit de rest,
Und, ven I vould raise yon beeg row,
Dey shoost tell me, pull down mit mine vest,
Und dey call me von noisy old frau.
Yours yet, Katrina.
FRITZ WRITES AGAIN
Dear Katrina,—Dis letter you get
So already you know how I vas;
Vell, dere’s von ting dat troubles me yet,
Und I tells you de reason pecause;
Dose nurse doctors you tink vas so gay
Haf de heaves, und blind staggers und gout,
Und dey trow dose nice cabbage avay
Dat vould make me some goot saur-kraut.
Und de limburger cheese dat you sent,
Dat vas making me feel strong and vell,
Britty soon mit the garbage it vent,
For dose nurses dey don’t like the shmell.
Ven I ask for pork sausages vonce,
Den dey say, (vot I tells you is true,)
“Don’t you know, you fat-headed old dunce,
Dose vill gif you de tic-doul-our-eux.”
Dey von’t let me no liverwurst eat;
For dey say it ain’t fit for de crows.
Ven I ask for some shmiercase so shweet,
Den dey laugh und dey turn up deir nose,
Dey shoost feed me some custards und jell
Und some broth dat I drink mit a cup,
How dey tink I vill efer get vell
If dey don’t keep mine stomach filled up?
Ven dis var vill get ofer you pet!
Den some pickled pig’s feet I vill buy,
Mit bologna and schnapps, maype yet,
Und some coffee to drink ven I’m dry,
Britty soon to mine bed I musht go,
So no more I can’t write you shoost now;
Gif mine luf to dose beeples ve know
Und take some for yourself, mine dear frau.
Mine truly, Fritz.
Mine dear Fritz,—Vot to ink I don’t know,
Ven dose hospital letters I get,
But mine tears dey vill run britty shlow,
Till I hear some tings different yet,
Ven you’re sick like you tries to make oudt,
Vot you vant mit some shmeircase to eat,
Und pork sausages, coffee and kraut
Und limburger und pickled pig’s feet?
I shoost tink you contented might shtay,
Till de var is all ofer und done,
Mit some custards und jells like you say,
Dat is better dan facing de gun.
Ve get nefer such goot tings like dese
Here at home in de old Faderland,
For dose English shut up all de seas
Ven to shtarve us goot Shermans dey planned.
Ven de men und de poys vent avay
For to fight for de goot Faderland,
Den de vomans must vork all de day
Mit a piece of plack bread in deir hand.
Dere’s no meat now, nor butter at all,
Shoost de tings ve can grow in de ground;
Und already I’m getting so shmall,
Dat mine dress vill go twice times around.
All dat cash in de bank dat ve haf,
Ven de Kaiser’s men need it, dey said,
If dey takes efry cent dat ve save,
Schraps of baper dey gifs us instead.
But I fool dose chaps vonce, britty soon,
For I put all de gold in a sack,
Mit your vatch, und mine brooches und shpoon
In de garden I bury dem back.
Yours yet, Katrina.
FRITZ LEARNS ABOUT CANADA
Vot’s de use for some beeples to blow,
Und to make some beeg fools mit demselves
Ven already de tings dey don’t know
Vould soon fill all de books on de shelves?
Ven I’m oudt of de hospital yard,
Und go unter de tree mit de rest,
Den I shmoke, und I blay some more card
Mit von chap from de Canada Vest.
Dis here feller, his name is Von Krink,
Und his fader from Shermany go,
He vill tell me some lies, I don’t tink,
From de blace vere dose maple leafs grow.
Dat beeg farm of his dad’s is so vide
Dey must drive all deir horses mit shteam,
Und it takes dem, to plow down de side,
Von whole veek mit a buffalo team.
Und to cross dat beeg country, he say,
Dey go five or six days on de train;
Dey could shtick in von corner avay,
De whole Faderland, England, und Spain.
Dey haf rivers more beeg as de Rhine,
Und some forests as vide as de sea,
Und dose veat fields, mit homesteads so fine,
Dey vill gif von for notting to me.
Vot’s de use den ve fight, I don’t know,
For von shmall shtrip of our land py de sea,
For if dis feller tells me vot’s so,
Den already beeg fools ve must pe.
Ven dis var will get ofer, you bet,
So dat me und Katrina can go,
I vill get me von farm, maype yet,
From de blace vere dose maple leafs grow. [page 81]
FRITZ CAN’T FURSHTAY
Seems like someting go wrong mit mine head
Since dat day ven I make de beeg fight,
Und mine heart gets so heafy like lead
Ven I dries some more bieces to write.
Dat is vy I so seldom don’t wrote
’Bout some tings dat vill happen to me
Since dose shells, vot you call? get mine goat,
Und I’m only von left out of tree.
Dot Canadian feller, Von Krink,
Ven I say “nix furshtay” to his talk,
He shoost tells me to take von more tink,
Or already he’ll knock off mine plock.
Ven I tells him de tings dat he say
I can’t find dem in mine leetle book,
Den he varn me to not get too gay
Britty soon, or he’ll gif me de hook.
Den he say dat de Kaiser’s a chump,
Und his vorks dey vos shlipping a cog,
Und his crown vill get trowed in de dump,
For he put de whole vorld on de hog;
Dot us Shermans vos all off our base,
Und already our goose vos cooked prown,
Britty soon ourselves home ve can chase,
Und den go avay pack und sit down.
Vot he somedimes vould mean I don’t know
Ven he gifs me dis foolisheness talk,
If I ask him he say, “Shoost go slow,
Mine dear Fritz, ven you’re oudt for a valk.”
Dot is not like de English I shpoke,
Vot I learn in de books I haf read.
Den no vunder mine heart is near proke;
Und Von Krink say dere’s veels in mine head. [page 82]
FRITZ IS LEARNING
Vile I vait in his hospital yard
For dose holes in mine back to fill up,
Den mine brain it vould vork pretty hard,
Like von vagon dat climbs de hill up.
Vill dis var soon get done, I don’t know,
So some more mine Katrina vill shmile,
Vonce we tought ve vould vin long ago
But ve’re learning some tings, all de vile.
Dere seems millions of men mit de gun,
Shoost like ants shwarming oudt of de hill,
From all ofer dis vorld dey haf run
Us goot Shermans already to kill.
Ve believed dat dem French vas no goot,
Shonnie Bull ve vould shtarve in his isle,
Ve vould sink all his ships dat pring foodt,
But ve’re learning some tings all de vile.
It will not pe so easy, I tink,
Shonnie Bull to put down on de floor,
For venefer his ships ve vill sink,
Pritty soon he vas puilding some more,
Dose beeg zepps, und dose unterseeboots
Dat ve make mit de latest new shtyle;
If dey don’t always hit vot dey shoots,
Ve must learn some more tings all de vile.
Ven already ve dakes von shmall town,
Den ve lose him a couple of dimes,
Shoost so soon von beeg hill ve goes down,
Dere’s anoder von up dat ve climbs.
Some goot Shermans vos lifting to-day,
In dose drenches for five hundred mile,
Ven dose English und French vill get gay
Den ve show dem some tings, all de vile. [page 83]
FRITZ HEARS FROM THE KAISER
Yaw, de Kaiser he write me von day,
Shoost so soon he find oudt he get shtuck;
First his letters dey come mit de dray,
Now de’re filling von beeg motor truck,
Soon, already, I dells him vot’s drue,
Dat some tings don’t look goot in dis fight,
Den der Kaiser he feel britty plue,
Und like dis vay to me he vill write.
“Mine dear Fritz,—Since Von Tirp has gone oudt,
Dere’s no von around here I can trust,
So I vant you to dell me, old scoudt,
Vill it pe de vorld power, or bust?
Ven ve licked de Russ, English und French,
Den de Dago und Portugee came,
Seems de deeper ve dig in de trench
De more fellers get into de game.
Mine beeg armies dey soon melt avay,
Like von shnow pank goes down mit de sun,
Ve keep losing more men efry day,
Und dose bapers say, “notting vas done,”
Dose new zeppelin ships vas a fake,
Shoost de fraus und de kiddies dey get,
Und de unterseebootens ve make,
Like de fish dey get caught mit de net.
Soon our foes take de skin mit de fleece,
So I vant you to hear vot dey say:
If deir talk seems to listen like peace,
Den you send me de vord right avay.
Yaw, mine Fritz, you must dell me some tings,
Shoost so soon you get on to deir track,
Und de feller mine letter dat prings,
Vill already your answer dake back.” [page 84]
FRITZ ADVISES THE KAISER
Mine dear Kaiser,—I’m telling you straight,
Dat ve nefer can vin dis beeg fight,
Dough de Faderland armies vas great,
Dere is udders dat’s greater, all right,
Shoost you make de goot beace britty soon,
Right avay, or you notting haf got;
Ven you sups mit de teufel, de spoon
Vill already, somedimes get too hot.
Shoost cut oudt dat beeg strafe dat you make,
Ven you can’t mit dose Englishmans pull,
Und you say it vas all a mistake,
For you lufs your dear cousin, John Bull.
Den you cheat dose fool English some more,
Like for forty long years ve haf done:
Dey’ll forget den dose treaties ve tore,
Und no more vill dey call us de Hun.
You can fix tings quite easy mit France,
Shoost you gif up de Alsace-Loraine,
Den venefer ve see de goot chance
Ve vill march in and take dem again;
Den dere’s Russia and Serbia too,
Vill vant pay for de men dat ve kill;
Now I tells you de ting dat you do
You say Austria vill settle deir bill.
Dere’s no trouble vill come from de Yanks,
Since ve mix dem in Mexico up;
Ven a feller get bit vonce, no tanks!
He von’t fool any more mit de pup;
For de Belgians some tings must be done;
So shoost bromise de monies to pay,
Till ve get back dose blace in de sun,
Den ve vink, und ve say, “nix furshtay.” [page 85]
FRITZ ADMITS IGNORANCE
Dis old vorld is von uncertain blace,
Dere is so many tings ve don’t know,
Ven ve shtart oudt to travel de pace,
Ve can’t tell shoost how far ve vill go,
Ve don’t know, from de vay a man valks,
How mooch money dat feller may get,
Und dose chaps mit de very smooth talks
May haf schemes in deir heads maybe yet.
Ven some leetle birds shtand on a shtump,
Ve don’t know yet de first von to fly;
Ve can’t tell, from de paint on de pump,
Shoost how soon de old vell vill run dry;
Ve don’t know vy de grass is so green,
Nor vy all plue roses grow red,
How de pod get ouside of de bean,
Und de cabbages get de shwelled head.
Ve don’t know, ven de veather is dry,
Britty soon if ve get some more rains,
Vy dere’s many a goot-looking guy
In his head dat don’t haf any brains;
Vy de plack card vill alvays come thrump,
Ven a handful of red vons ve hold,
Nor how far can von leedle flea yump
Nor vy mud-turtles nefer get old.
In dose car, ven ve go for a ride,
Ve can’t tell ven dere’s someting vill bust,
Und ourselves ve so often haf lied,
Ve don’t know any feller to trust;
Ve can’t tell yet de end of dis schrap,
Ve may get, ven de fighting is done,
Some varm country, not marked on de map
Dat’s more hot dan a blace in de sun. [page 86]
FRITZ ON THE ENGLISH
Ven I fights mit dose Englishmans yet,
Dere vas tings vy I nefer can’t see,
Und dis time I’m certain, you bet!
Either dey must pe crazy or me.
Dey vill bay von beeg price for a king,
But as soon as he put on his crown,
Und vould try to pe doing some ting,
Dey say,—“Go avay pack und sit down.”
Ven dey get all dose blace in de sun,
Und de blaces vere grows de beeg trees,
Ven already de hard vork is done,
Den John Bull say,—“Shoost go as you blease.”
If in Dublin a feller rebels,
Britty soon on a rope he vill shwing,
But go free, so mine newsbaper tells,
If in Ulster he do de same ting.
Johnnie Bull prings his pread und his meat
From de ends of de vorld far avay,
Vile de lands vere he ought to grow veat,
Dem’s de blaces de pheasants will shtay,
Ven he say dat he nefer vill fight,
But vill shtick mit his vork und his blay
Dat vas lies he vas telling all right,
For he fight like de teufel to-day.
Und dose beeples dat nefer had vorked,
All dose soft-handed ladies und shwells,
Und de fellers dat always had shirked,
Haf got busy now making de shells.
If ve’re brisoners, vounded or sick,
Shoost so soon ve fall into deir hand,
Den dey doctor und feed us oop shlick;
Dese are tings dat I can’t understand. [page 87]
WHEN WILL IT END
Von Krink tells Fritz when the War will end.
Ven you tinks dis beeg var vill get done?
(Dat’s de ting you hear efryone say.)
Britty soon vill dey lay down de gun,
So I home mit Katrina can shtay?
Vell, I tells you mine friends, vot I tink,
Dat de Kaiser don’t know, nor de Czar,
So I shpeak mit dat feller, Von Krink,
Shoost how soon ve can settle dis var.
“Ve vill not shtop de fight,” said Von Krink
“Till de Kaiser climbs down from his throne
All dot Willhelmstrasse bunch, I don’t tink,
Haf deir backs mitout moss ofergrown.
Ve vill take back de Heligoland,
Und dose Krupp vorks to bieces vill shmash,
Ve vill shpoil all dose profits so grand,
Und Miss Bertha can cook her own hash.”
“Und dose blaces vay out in de sun,
Vere de Kaiser such goot money shpends,
John Bull vill shoost tink it fine fun
To divide dem around mit his friends,
Ve vill take all de Kaiser’s beeg ships,
Ve vill make free de Kiel canal
Und de Shermans must pass oudt de chips
Ven dey lose de beeg jack-pot next fall.
“Den berhaps if dey’re getting too gay,
Ve vill hang dem a couple of times;
Dat already might be de best way,
For to settle dose submarine crimes.
Ven ve get all dose leetle chores done,
Und some more ve can’t tink about yet,
Ve vill hang up de sword und de gun.
But not von minute sooner, you bet!” [page 88]
THE KAISER AGAIN CONSULTS FRITZ
Mine dear Fritz,—Your advice ven I take,
Und I try dot goot beace talk to shrart,
Den dose fellers all call it a fake,
For dey say it don’t come from mine heart;
Vat’s de ting to do next, I don’t know,
Mit dose bull-headed English and French,
Dey shoost tink dey’re de whole of de show
Since they pounded us oudt of some trench.
Dey are licking us now britty fast,
Like I nefer could tink dey vill do,
Mit beeg guns dey now haf us out-classed,
Und mit airships und teufel tanks too.
Ve must all de hard hammering take
For dose Bulgars und Turks vas no goot,
Seems like now von beeg blunder ve make
Und de game ve haf not undershtoodt.
Ven vet ink ve vill get some more oil,
Und de oats, und potatoes, and meat,
All dose tings de Roumanians shpoil
Shoost so soon as ve make dem redreat;
Und mine shlack brudder, Tino of Greece,
He gets batted all ofer der ground,
Ven he shtrikes he goes oudt on first base,
Und makes nefer de run all around.
Britty soon, Fritz, ve something must do,
Or already ve all vill be killed,
For dose English haf put on de screw
Und our stomachs are nefer half filled.
Vat you tink of dis plan, mine dear Fritz,
In mine head dat already I get,
Dat I take back again Von Tirpitz,
Und Herr Teufel in partnership yet? [page 89]
FRITZ WARNS THE KAISER
Mine dear Kaiser,—Dose tings vas a fake,
Ven you shtart oop dat untersea show
Und already a pardnership make
Mit Von Tirpitz, Von Teufel and Co.
Ven de try dis same game vonce pefore,
Soon ve lose all dose subs dat ve had,
Und dis time ve vill lose dem some more,
For now even dose Yanks haf got mad.
Some advice I vould give to you yet,
(It vill shoost take a minute or two,)
Call dose subs all in oudt of de vet,
Dat’s already de best ting to do.
You mak tink dat old Fritz is a fool,
Und haf maype some axes to grind,
But dose tings dat he learned oudt of school,
Dey vill pring de improvement of mind.
Since dat day I vas brisoner took,
Und I hafn’t got notting to do,
Den I read all dose bapers und book,
Und write maype a letter or two,
Dere’s some tings I already find oudt
Dat de Faderland bapers von’t tell,
How dose English, like leetle Hans Shtout,
Haf de pussy cat pulled from de vell.
All dose English must half deir own vay,
Und so soon as deir foes dey vill shmash,
Like Napoleon dey ship dem avay
Or like Thebaw or Arabi Pash;
So I tells you, mine Kaiser, bevare,
Or you gets yourself soon in a fix,
Saint Helena’s old rock is still dere
For de feller dat loses de tricks. [page 90]
FRITZ GOES FARMING
Mine Katrina,—So long since I write,
You vill tink I am dead maybe yet;
If I never come back from dis fight,
Den some udder old feller you get.
Vell I tells you de reason, mine frau,
Vy already mine letters vill shtop,
Ven John Bull soon finds oudt I can plow
Den he vant me to put in de crop.
In de vorld if dere’s not enough veat,
For to make all de beeples some pread,
Den de poor vill get notting to eat,
Und dey all vill go britty soon dead,
So John Bull some potatoes will sow,
Vere dose rabbits und pheasants haf stayed,
Und de veat, oats und barley vill grow
Vere de tennis und cricket vas played.
To pe oudt de land it seems good,
Vere dose onions and cabbages grow,
Vere de pigs fall ashleep in de mud
Und de ducks in de vater vill go;
But I vork so hard now efry day,
Und I gets so beeg tired py night,
To dose friends dat I luf far avay
Den I hafn’t no courage to write.
I shoost vork, und I shleep, und I eat,
So I hafn’t much news for to send;
You vould hear of de Sherman redreat,
Vell I hopes dis beeg var vill soon end.
All mine troubles I hardly can’t bear,
How is tings in de Faderland now?
If ve lose yet, or vin, I don’t care,
So I only get back to mine frau.
INDEX TO WAR RHYMES
Rhymes for Children
Nursery Rhymes — Up-to-Date
The Opinions of Fritz
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