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The Soul Of Sergeant Todd
by [?]

“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 soul beside him nodded and mustered a smile:
“You handled a dozen at once,” he said; “they didn’t come single file.
If you wasn’t ‘much of a soldier,’ or shirked in your duty–well, say,
What sort of a chance have other men got when tested on Judgment Day?
You fought them all, you did; and when
They quit, you started in again!”

“Shut up!” said the soul of Sergeant Todd; “you’re still in my squad, McQuade,
I say that I lacked what you did not lack–courage to die, unafraid.
I was a coward, a trembling coward, deep in my craven heart;
I fought with the fear of that fear at my soul, playing no hero’s part!
You can’t understand it–but I
Had none of the courage– to die!

“And now that I’m dead,” said the troubled soul of the one-time Sergeant Todd,
“It didn’t seem right that those who live should think I have met our God
As a brave man does: his honor clear, with his courage unscathed and whole.
On this high plane there is no room for a fear-troubled human soul;
So Sergeant Todd” (he bowed his head)
Fears no more –for his body’s dead!”