The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

Not Too Old to Fight

MY name is Danny Bloomer and my age is eighty-three,

Years ago I went with Sherman to the ever sunny sea.

I stood my ground at Gettysburg, that bloody summer day,

When gallant Pickett rushed the hill and lost his boys in gray;

And now our starry banner is insulted and defied,

The kaiser tears it into shreds and glories in his pride;

Just pass the word across the sea to his stronghold of might,

And say that Danny Bloomer's here and not too old to fight.

I gave my youth to Uncle Sam in years I'll ne'er forget,

In mem'ry of those stirring times my old blood tingles yet.

With four score years upon me I can lift the same old gun,

And to face our Flag's insulter will be everlasting fun.

Please say that Danny Bloomer is ready for the fray,

Cry "Forward, march!" and see him in the good old ranks today.

I love the flag of Washington because it stands for Right,

And that is why I tell you I am not too old to fight.

'Tis true I'm somewhat crippled, but I do not care for that,

I feel as young as when I saw the tilt of Sherman's hat;

I want to do my duty again before I die,

And see Old Glory proudly in the streets of Berlin fly.

I do not know the kaiser, but I hope within a year

Amid the roar of cannon he will say, "Old Bloomer's here!"

Yes, hand me down a rifle and I will use it right,

Your Uncle Danny Bloomer isn't yet too old to fight.

We've borne their insults long enough--they make me long to go. '

I want to squint along my gun and aim it at the foe;

I eat the same old rations that I ate in '64,

And feel the blood of youth again amid the battle's roar.

I haven't long to tarry here until my work is done,

But I want to show the kaiser we're not in it for fun

So give me marching orders and I'll disappear from sight,

For I am Danny Bloomer, and I'm not too old to fight.