Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Behind The Lines
by [?]

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 of The Service!

We’re the backwash whirl of the pool of War gathering in the men,
We cannot fight as others fight, though just as loyal and true;
We’re the silent corps of the Men Behind, over and over again
Doing our part in the war for Right, small though it seem to you.

Figuring, checking-up, testing all day,
Knowing no hours–and not too much pay–
We’re all of us part of The Service.

If it takes ten men behind the front to put one on the Line,
(We all remember the speech that cheers the backwash, anyhow!)
We’re putting them there–and do not ask for furloughs…. That’s a sign
We’re not the guests of the Government– we’re in The Service now.

A cog in the big machine? Maybe–
But a cog that doesn’t complain, you see–
We’re all of us part of The Service!