Long, Long Thoughts



Somewhere on the Ocean is
The boy who brought our groceries
Before the War began.
His name is Willie, and he took
The orders daily from the cook,
And wrote them in his little book,
And carried off the can
In which we keep our kerosene.
He was n’t very neat and clean.
But now so neat and clean he is,
The boy who brought our groceries,
And stands so straight,
You’d never know him for the same
Stoop-shouldered, careless boy who came,
And often got a lot of blame
For bringing things so late.
He was so shiftless, goodness knows
If he had ever brushed his clothes!
But now a soldier man he is,
The boy who brought our groceries,
And gone to shoot a Hun.
Sunday he called on Cook, to say
Good-bye before he went away;
And Pop shook hands with him that day
As proud as anyone.
He is so soldierly and trim,
We all are proud of knowing him.

The Transport

Upon the Bath-Tub Ocean,
With gunboats in advance,
I set my ships in motion
To bear my troops to France.
The largest was my Noah’s Ark;
My soldiers made of wood
On that good ship I saw embark,
With cannon, guns, and food.
Aboard my sturdy sloop boat
I play with at the shore,
I let my oldest troop float,
Some twenty men or more.
In breeches blue and jackets red.
With knapsack and with gun,
My little veterans of lead
Took gangway on the run.
My paper soldiers boarded
My schooner boat. The day
Was misty. I out-sworded.
‘Up anchor — and away!’
We headed out beside a cliff
Of snowy porcelain:
And every hero wondered if
He would come home again.
That night the wicked U-boats
That in the Bath-Tub lurk,
They tried to sink a few boats,
And made our gunner work.
Down went the Ark, while roundabout
Played searchlights white and slim.
But every soldier-man got out;
And all of them could swim.
The Ark and all the good things
To eat was quite a loss.
The soldiers, being wood things,
Kept on and swam across.
But from the sloop boat, sad to tell.
When shells were bursting round.
Two of my little veterans fell
And both — were — drowned!

The Worm

When the earth is turned in spring,
The worms are fat as anything.
And birds come flying all around
To eat the worms right off the ground.
They like worms just as much as I
Like bread and milk and apple-pie.
And once, when I was very young,
I put a worm right on my tongue.
I did n’t like the taste a bit,
And so I did n’t swallow it.
But oh, it makes my mother squirm.
Because she thinks I ate that worm!