When your nerves are feelin’ shot,
And your engine’s gettin’ hot,
And it’s up to you to bring ’er down alive,
An Albatross V-strutter
Seems to hear your motor sputter
And he’s out to scalp another S.E. five.

And you’ve got no consolation
At the end of your formation,
And suddenly you see he’s cut you off;
And there’s nothing else to do,
So my boy! it’s up to you,
And you wish to hell your engine wouldn’t cough.

You pull ’er up and over.
It’s your British crust that hove ’er,
And you’re divin’ down like leather bent for hell;
And your forehead starts a-painin’,
But your engine starts a-gainin’,
And you’re underneath his tail—You’ve done it well!

You climb a little first,
And you let him have a burst,
And your Vickers starts a-spittin’ like a snake;
But you’re tremblin’ like a child,
And your shots are goin’ wild:
You can see ’em by the streaks your tracers make.

Well, you’ve pulled yourself together,
And you’re goin’ hell for leather,
But the Boche has rolled and got behind your back;
And his shots are fiery things,
And they’re landin’ in your wings;
So you roll, and almost hear ’em crack!

You’ll deliver him to his Gott,
In the place where it’s so hot,
And you aim and squeeze your Bowdin-lever well;
And before your shots are spent,
By God! you’ve gone and sent
Him blazin’, spinnin’, crashin’ down to hell!

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.