The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Crutches' Tune

DOWN the street, with a lilting swing,

Each so bright that never a thing

Seemed to harass, so proud were they

One leg gone, but their hearts were gay

Clickety clack, went the crutches' tune.

God! How can they be brave so soon!

Brave, when I can not keep back the tears,

Thinking ahead of the crippled years.

With a rhythmic swing they passed me by,

And although, at first, I wanted to cry,

I didn't, because on each smiling face

Was the peace of God and the pride of race.

And the splendid pair, each with one leg gone,

Swung out of sight to the crutches' song.

And I thought I would give all my future joys

To feel just like those Canadian boys.

All night long, like an ancient rune,

Rang through my dreams the crutches' tune.

I shall never forget, though I'm old and gray,

The sang that the crutches sang that day.