The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

Men of the Blood and Mire

WE whom the draft rejected;

We who stay by the stuff;

We who measure our manhood

And find that it isn't enough;

We who are gray and burdened;

We whom the trades require--

Will you permit us to hail you,

Men of the Blood and Mire?

We of the thundering forum;

We of the pen and press;

We who are pouring our utmost

Into our land's success;

We of the Cross and Triangle,

Lofty in deed and desire--

God, how we shrivel before you,

Men of the Blood and Mire!

Aye, we are square with conscience--

We are reservists all;

Aye, when your ranks are gaping,

We will fight where you fall;

Yet, while we wait, your altar

Flames in the gas and fire--

We are the shade of your glory,

Men of the Blood and Mire!