The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

Soldiers of the Soil

IT'S a high-falutin' title they have handed us;

It's very complimentary and grand;

But a year or so ago they called us "hicks," you know--

An' joshed the farmer and his hired hand!

Now it's, "Save the country, Farmer!

Be a soldier of the soil!

Show your patriotism, pardner,

By your never ending toil."

So we're croppin' more than ever,

An' we're speedin' up the farm.

Oh, it's great to be a soldier,--

sweatin' sun-burnt soldier,--

A soldier in the furrows--

Away from "war's alarm!"

While fightin' blight and blister,

We hardly get a chance

To read about our "comrades"

A-doin' things in France.

To raise the grub to feed 'em

Is some job, believe me--plus!

And I ain't so sure a soldier--

A shootin', scrappin' soldier,

That's livin' close to dyin'--

Ain't got the best of us!

But we'll harrer and we'll harvest,

An' we'll meet this new demand

Like the farmers always meet it--

The farmers--and the land.

An' we hope, when it is over

An' this war has gone to seed,

You will know us soldiers better--

Th' sweatin', reapin' soldiers,

Th' soldiers that have hustled

To raise th' grub you need!

It's a mighty fine title you have given us,

A name that sounds too fine to really stick;

But maybe you'll forget (when you figure out your debt)

To call th' man who works a farm a "hick."