The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition


YES, back at home I used to drive a tram;

And Sammy, there, he was a driver, too

He used to ride his racer--did Sir Sam;

While pokey London streets was all I knew.

But now, His Nibs and I, of equal rank,

Are chummy as the paper and the wall,

Each tooling of a caterpillar tank,

Each waiting on the blest old bugle call.

Say! Tanks are sport--when you get used to them,

They're like a blooming railroad, self-contained;

They lay their tracks, as you might say--pro tern,

And pick 'em up, and there's good distance gained.

They roar across rough country like a gale,

They lean against a house and push it down,

They're like a baby fortress under sail,

And antic as a three-ring circus clown.

Sam says they're slow. They may seem so to him--

They can't show fancy mile-a-minute stuff,

But when they charge, in armored fighting trim,

You bet the Germans find 'em fast enough!

Now Sam and I are waiting, side by side,

To steam across von farm-land in the night;

We'll take their blamed barbed wire in our stride,

And stamp a German trench line out of sight.