Remarks From a Back Row Seat by an Amateur Propagandist

by STEPHEN VINCENT BENÉT
CIVILIANS hate. Civilians yell “Get tough!”
Civilians gripe about “a happy war.”
Civilians say there isn’t blood enough.
Civilians always seem to want some more.
Soldiers are slightly different about blood.
It gets spilled out of them, and on the spot.
And they find certain kinds of hate a dud.
And they know whether men are tough or not.
Ask the dead sergeant in the broken stuff
Just how he’d like some cutie to explain
The war he fought was “soft” or “just a bluff,”
And, if he doesn’t answer, ask again.
That’s all. Oh, yes, I know. In various lands
Civilians stood and took it by the millions
And propped the leagured State with their bare hands —
But, boy, not these civilians!