The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Marines

Permission to reproduce in this hook

PARDON he has no Engleesh, heem,

Il He pane que Française,

I spik it leetle some Monsieur,

Vaire bad, j'en suis fâché--

Marines? Mais oui! I fight viz zem

At Château Thierry

An' on ze Ourcq an' Marne in grand

Bon camaraderie,

I see zem fight at bois Belleau,

Like sauvage make ze yell,--

Sacré; nom de Dieu! zoze sailor man

Eez fightin' like ze hell!

All time zey smile when make ze push,

Magnifique zaire élan,

Zey show ze heart of lion

For delight our bray Franchman.

An' in ze tranch at rest, zoze troop

From ze Etats Unis

Q ueeck make ze good frien' of poilu

Wiz beeg slap on ze knee!

Zey make ze song an' joke, si drôle

An' pass ze cigarette;

Zey call us goddam good ol' scout

Like Marquis La Fayette.

Next day, mebbee, again ze taps--

Ze volley in ze air.--

Adieu! some fightin' sailor man

Eez gone West. C'est la guerre!

No more ze smile, ze hug, ze hand

Queeck wiz ze cigarette;

C'est vrai, at funerall of heem

Ze poilu's eye eez wet.

But, every day like tidal wave,--

Like human avalanche,--

Ze transport bring more Yankee troop,

To get ze beeg revanche!

Zen from ze heart Américaine

Come milliards of monnaie;

Eet ze end! Your country bring

Triomphant liberté.

So, au revoir! I mus' go on

But first I tell to you

What some high Officier remark

Zat day at bois Belleau.

He says, our great Napoleon

Wiz envy would turn green

Eel he could see zoze sailor man,--

Zoze Uncle Sam Marines!"