Standin’ up here on the fire-step,
Lookin’ ahead in the mist,
With a tin hat over your ivory
And a rifle clutched in your fist;
Waitin’ and watchin’ and wond’rin’
If the Hun’s comin’ over tonight –
Say, ain’t the things you think of
Enough to give you a fright?
Things you ain’t even thought of
For a couple o’ months or more;
Things that ‘ull set you laughin’,
Things that ‘ull make you sore;
Things that you saw in the movies,
Things that you saw on the street,
Things that you’re really proud of,
Things at are – not so sweet.
Debts that are past collectin’,
Stories you hear and forget,
Ball games and birthday parties,
Hours of drill in the wet;
Headlines, recruitin’ posters,
Sunsets’way out at sea,
Evenings of pay days – golly,
It’s a queer thing, this memory!
Faces of pals in Homeburg
Voices of women folk,
Verses you learnt in schooldays,
Pop up in the mist and smoke,
As you stand there, grippin’ that rifle,
A-starin’, and chilled to the bone,
Wonderin’ and wonderin’ and wonderin’,
Just thinkin’ there – all alone!
When will the war be over?
When will the gang break through?
What will the U.S. look like?
What will there be to do?
Where will the Boches be then?
Who will have married Nell?
When’s that relief a-comin’ up?
Gosh! But this thinkin’s hell!
HUDSON HAWLEY, Pvt. MG. Bn.