The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Old Gang on the Corner

THE old gang on the Corner! What an arrant tribe they were;

The Widow Kelly's Connie--he had always worried her!

The Schultz boys, Jake and Rudy; the parson's own, Chub Smith,

"Who," sister told the neighbors, "they can't do nothin' with."

Young Tony Boots, the Dago, and Scamp, the tinner's son--

To them a mischief thought of was a mischief quickly done.

The Old Gang on the Corner! In the are light's friendly glow

They trooped each night till Tim the Cop came by and made them go.

But all that now is ended, for the Sword of Hate is drawn--

The Old Gang on the Corner from its happy haunt is gone.

The street lamp idly sputters; Tim, the lonely, walks his beat,

His good heart well ahunger for the Old Gang in the street.

The Old Gang on the Corner! Now each loyal mother brags

No other neighborhood can boast as many service flags.

Con Kelly's won a sergeantcy; the parson's black--sheep son

Has had his picture printed for heroic deeds he's done.

The Schultz boys, in the navy, though they yet are in their teens,

Are mates with Scamp and Tony in the chase for for submarines.

The Old Gang on the Corner! Yes, we've all forgotten now

The Hallowe'en they calcimined McDougall's muley cow,

We've put aside the memories of cream and cake they stole

When our church had a festival to pay for last year's coal.

All that is in the Yestcrday--they're now our fighting men--

And, God, won't we be happy if they all come home again?