34 Works of Everard Jack Appleton
“I’ve given a lot of my time and work
To helping my country,” says he;
“No one can tell you that I am a shirk
In the great cause of Liberty!”
(Perhaps you have met him?
Well, then, forget him!)
John Lampas was a Greek,John Lampas isn’t now;He’s just a plain AmericanAnd eating soldier chow.He joined the army recently,But first–he gave [...]
We’re not a bit deluded by the notionThat this is just a picnic, or that weEnlisted for a trip across the ocean–There’s work ahead, not just a joyous spree.Of course we sing and talk and sometimes dance;But get this in your mind–that when we hear“Hullo, Soldier! How’s the boy?” as we disembark in France,They will [...]
A simple ditty Private Smithy sang for me,Entitled “Beans.”… The tune was not a joy;The words were commonplace as they could be,But just to hear his earnest voice–”Oh, Boy!”
When first I went a-sojerin’I couldn’t eat the stuffThe cookies gave the bunch of us,For it was rough and tough.But since I’ve been a-sojerin’And learned what livin’ [...]
We number hundreds of thousands, and we’re nowhere near the front;We’re pen and pencil pushers, or “serving” the adding machines;We’ll never reach the firing-line, nor bear its hellish brunt–But where’d they be if it weren’t for us, workers behind the scenes?
Book-keeper, paymaster, spectacled clerk,Doing our bit, though it’s every day work–We’re all of us part [...]
There’s a Red Cross Button on his left lapel,And a Liberty Bond pin on his right;There’s a U. S. flag above the Red Cross, too;His patriotism’s never out of sight!His loyalty is spread on his hollow breast(And sometimes he’s pathetic, I confess),But the button that he’s most ashamed to wearIs the one that reads
This horrid old war is right in our houseMaking itself at home, goodness sakes!The scraps from our table won’t feed a mouseWe’ve cut out desserts, salads, and cakes.Monday is meatless and Tuesday is dry,Wednesday is sugarless, too, gee whiz!Our plates must be cleaned, they tell us. That’s whyWe eat the garbage before it is !
What’s th’ meanin’ of the look you see in soldiers’ eyes?Some of them you thought would kick an’ stall around an’ howl;But just listen (if they’ll talk) an’ hear, to your surprise,A lot of laughs, a lot o’ tales–but never once a growl!
Business man and bell hop,Farmer boy and clerk;Easy-going spendthrifts,Men that have to work;Firemen [...]
Sister Susie’s sittin’ knittin’Sweaters, wristlets, scarfs, an’ socks;She ain’t “sewin’ shirts for soldiers”‘Cause she got so many knocksFrom th’ papers ’bout her sewin’–Now she’s knittin’ pounds of yarnInto things to send away…. Well,I don’t care,Don’t care a darn!
Hasn’t knit no scarf or sweater,Hasn’t made no socks for me;Little brother, he can rustleFor himself alone, you [...]
“I wasn’t so much of a soldier,” said the soul of Sergeant Todd,(Fumbling at his medal, that statement sounded odd.)“I wasn’t so much of a fighter, but when they came, and came,Yelling and shooting, I just got mad, and I reckon I did the same.Into my trench they piled–just boys–Making a most outlandish noise.”
A Corporal’s [...]
We meet ev’ry week to make surgical dressings–And one woman does it dead wrong;I watched her a day–then I just had to say,“My dear! If I may–that’s too long!”While I was explaining the teacher came by–She’s so cross that her mouth’s just a line –And found fault with me and my work….After thatI’ll mind no [...]
Since Johnny has joined the Marine corps,Of course he will do what he’s told,And Johnny will be at home on the seaThe day he is eighteen years old.Just what they expect of my babyAin’t clear to his maw; my, oh, my!But Johnny’s a-wearin’ the blue–and ain’t carin’–He’s gone! Is it wrong if I cry?
It ain’t [...]
We slid into the harbor here,A line of battle-cruisers gray,With hungry guns as silent asThe bands aboard that did not play.The fog was soft, the fog was damp,The hush was thick and wide as space,But ev’ry man was standing atAttention in his given place.
We’d made the port, with time to spare–And Uncle Sam’s first Fleet [...]
It may be that you know him. A slim and likely kid;Red-headed, tall, and soft of speech and glance.He never took a prize at school (his talents always hid),And yet he’s got a medal from the Government of France!
He didn’t kill a lot of men;He never injured one;He didn’t hold a trench alone;He never manned [...]
At home, he drove a taxi,A job he’d now disdain;He’s learning (on a queer machine)To drive an aeroplane.It doesn’t fly–it glumps alongAnd bumps him, ev’ry chance;His tumbling, rumbling “Penguin”Out there–Somewhere in France.
It isn’t fun to drive it,But he’s not out for fun;He’s going to learn to drop good bombsUpon the no-good Hun!And so, until he [...]
Back of the Front in this durn trainin’ camp,Day after day we are stuck, an’ we swearWhenever we hear th’ regular trampOf th’ men who are through and are goin’ somewhere.We’re all of us willin’, but why keep us drillin’Forever?… Just waitin’ for somethin’ to do!
At home they are readin’ th’ outlandish nameOf a battle [...]
The capting says, says he to us:“Your duty is to do your best;We can’t ALL lead in this here muss,So mind your job! That is the testO’ soldierin’,O’ soldierin’–To mind your job, while soldierin’!”
When Jimmy joined the colors first, he knowed that soon he’d beA non-com. officer,–oh, sure, he had that idee firm;But Jimmy got [...]
This is the story as told to me;It may be a fairy-tale new,But I know the man, and I know that he liesVery infrequently, too!
When the boys in khaki first were called to serve,Guarding railroad bridges and the like,Bob was just a private in the old N. G.,Fond of all the work–except the hike.When they [...]
Bugler Bill–mild-mannered, shy–Is straight…. But I wonder if Bill would lie?
Bugler Bill is a pensive lad,Whether he’s workin’ or not;Serious-faced an’ pitiful sad–(Think he was goin’ t’ be shot!)Whenever he bugles, some of us cry–Reveille, taps, or mess–With musical sob-stuff Bill gets by,Plaintive and full of distress!
Bugler Bill is never real gay,But built on a [...]
He’s not very handsome or clever,
He’s slow in his wits–and he’s fat,
And yet he’s a soldier of Uncle Sam’s–
Now, whaddy you know about that?
We always called him Dummy,And thought he wouldn’t fight;We sneered at him and jeered at him–He was–and is–a sight!His feet are big, his head is small,His German blood is slow,But at the [...]
You mustn’t hate the enemy–that wastes a lot of “pep”–The Colonel passed the word around the training camp to-day.The Captain says with modern war we gotta all catch step;“Cut out the rough-necked rage and talk, and don’t you think or say:
“‘Pirates, rapists, murderers; poisoners and lying thieves;Super-vandals, run amuck–black devils quoting sermons;This world was mostly [...]
Mighty little doin’–yet a lot to do–While the navy’s standin’ guard, we are lookin’ out;Patrol boats in shoals, good old craft and newHustle here and skitter there–what’s it all about?
Speed boats and slow boatsLoaf around or run,But ev’ry unit of this fleetMounts a wicked gun!
Pleasure craft a-plenty, all dolled up in grayGrim and ugly war-paint [...]
Little mother, little mother, with the shadows in your eyes
And the icy hand of Fear about your heart,
You cannot help your boy prepare to make his sacrifice
Unless you make yours bravely, at the start!
He is training, as a million others train;He is giving what the others give–their best;Make him feel your faith in him, though [...]
It’s a high-falutin’ title they have handed us;It’s very complimentary an’ grand;But a year or so ago they called us “hicks,” you know–An’ joshed the farmer and his hired hand!
Now it’s, “Save the country, Farmer!Be a soldier of the soil!Show your patriotism, pardner,By your never-ending toil.”So we’re croppin’ more than ever,An’ we’re speedin’ up the [...]
Billy is a ladies’ man; Billy dances fine(Always was a bear-cat at the game);Billy pulls the social stuff all along the line–But he knows this business, just the same.
He can march; he can drillAs hard as any rook;And he knows his manualWithout his little book.
Maybe he was soft at first–ev’rybody’s that;Golfing was his hardest labor [...]
It isn’t just colors and bunting–The red and the blue and the white.It’s something heaps better and finer,–It’s the soul of my country in sight!
There’s a lot of ceremony ’bout the Flag,Though many half-baked patriots believeSalutin’ it and hangin’ it correct“Is only loyalty upon the sleeve.”But we who work beneath the Flag to-day,Who’ll honor it–and [...]
You pull a lot of funny stuff about us, when there’s peace,The jokes you spring are sometimes rough, and make a guy see red;But when there’s trouble in the air you “vaudevillians” cease,And them that laughed the loudest laugh, salute the flag instead!
Oh, it’s kid the boys alongWhen there’s nothing going wrong;But when your country’s [...]
A thousand years from now, how will this earthConduct itself? Will there be wars, and menInventing things? Or will there be a dearthOf ideas (such as we feel, now and then?)Nobody knows. We can surmise, perchance–But glancing that far oft is quite some glance!
A thousand years from now–in Time’s swift flight–The aeroplane itself may be [...]
“Write me,” she ordered, nodding her head,“A song of the rippling Spring that is gone–A song that’s different from songs that are dead–Different as sunset is from the dawn.Sparkling with happiness, heavy with dew,Trilling and thrilling, all the way through;Fill it with heaven’s own laughing blue–Write it!” she said. So I wrote it–”Love’s Pawn.”
I spoke [...]
The radiant dawn flows up the empty sky,Its singing colors heralding the day,And yet, before the tardy sun is high,Unfinished morning fades and slips away.While Nature holds her fragrant breath at dawnWatching the loveliness she’s made–it’s gone!
From dew-drenched garden thrills a thrush’s call–That liquid note that all night long was stilled–The living chalice, brown and [...]
What is the cost of a day in Spring–A wind-swept, rain-washed golden day?A day that with joy is bubbling–And dancing adown a world mad-gay?
You’ve paid for that day with days gone by–The gloomy days and the days of rain;The days that you’d like to forget–and try–Days that were tuned to a note of pain.
Others there [...]
We rode at night, and the cut-steel starsDaggered the black of the quiet sky;Yet Venus had taken the place of MarsIn the Scheme of the Silent Worlds on high.The ribbon of road ran straight ahead;The night air whipped your hair and your face,Our hearts kept time to the horses’ pace,And we were alive, and our [...]
Line after line, you swung along,You men, who only a while agoWere just a part of the city’s throngWorking for self, sedate and slow.But now–what a diff’rence! Living throbsOf the Nation’s heart! Her reborn men;And some who saw you gulped back sobs–And wished you were marching home again!Our eyes were dim as you went past,For [...]
To take this trouble seriously,But not to gloom or whine;To never overestimateOur strength, or to declineTo see this is no picnic,But do our earnest partWith brain and muscles, newly trained–To keep a steady heart!
To fight, but not to lowerOur standards in the dust;To meet a savage enemyWhose words the world can’t trust.To guard our foolish [...]
Straight thinking,Straight talking,Straight doing,And a firm belief in the might of right.
Patience linked with patriotism,Justice added to kindliness,Uncompromising devotion to this country,And active, not passive, Americanism.
To talk less, to mean more,To complain less, to accomplish more,And to so live that every one of us is ready to look Eternity in theface at any moment, and [...]