The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

As the Trucks Go Rollin' By

THERE'S a rumble an' a jumble an' a humpin' an' a thud,

As I wakens from my restless sleep here in my bed o' mud,

'N' I pull my blankets tighter underneath my shelter fly,

An' I listen to the thunder o' the trucks a-rollin' by.

They're jumpin' and they're humpin' through the inky gloom o' night,

'N' I wonder how them drivers see without a gum o' light;

I c'n hear the clutches roarin' as they throw the gears in high,

Arid the radiators boilin' as the trucks go rollin' by.

There's some a-draggin' cannons, you c'n spot the sound all right;

The rumblin' ones is heavies, an' the rattly ones is light;

The clinkin' shells is pointin' up their noses at the sky;

Oh, you c'n tell what's passin' as the trucks go rollin' by.

But most of 'em is packin' loads o' human Yankee freight

That'll slam the ol' soft pedal ontuh Heinie's Hymn o' Hate;

You c'n hear 'em singin' "Dixie," and the "Sweet Bye 'n' Bye,"

'N' "Where Do We Go From Here, Boys?" as the trucks go rollin' by.

Some's singin' songs as, when I left, they wasn't even ripe,

(A-showin' 'at they's rookies wot ain't got a service stripe);

But jus' the same they're good ol' Yanks, and that's the reason why

I likes the jazz 'n' barber shop o' the trucks a-rollin' by.

Jus' God and Gen'rul Pershing knows where these here birds'll light,

Where them bumpin' trucks is bound for under camou flage o' night,

When they can't take aero pitchers with their Fokkers in the sky

Of our changes o' location by the trucks a-rollin' by.

So, altho' my bed is puddles an' I'm soaked through to the hide,

My heart's out with them doughboys on their bouncin' singin' ride;

They're bound for paths o' glory, or, p'raps, to fight 'n' die--

God 'less that Yankee cargo in the trucks a-rollin' by.