Goodbye, My Lover

By Margaret Widdemer

All the flags wave abroad and the crowds wave and cry —
And I watch for your face in the long lines marching by;

For my lips bade you go, but my heart would bid you stay —
Oh lad, will the war be long and you so far away?

And your step as you marched, would it lag or fall more true
If you knew that my heart’s gone to war to follow you?

Somewhere in France

By Jane McLean

Somewhere in France they buried him, a wooden cross above his head,
Nearby a sleepy little town, where slept a multitude of dead.
A goodly little town it was, ere the inhabitants had fled,
Somewhere in France.

Somewhere in France they called him comrade; knew him as he fought
and died;
But we remember other things — the boyish smile so frank and wide;
The way he swore he’d lick the Kaiser when he reaches the other side,
Somewhere in France.

Somewhere in France they buried him within a quiet, lonely grave,
Unknown save for his fighting mates, who cheered the cause he died to
And for his sacrifices the Stars and Stripes still proudly wave,
Somewhere in France.

Until You Pass

By A. Newberry Choyce

And when you search through wounded France
To find the cross that marks my rest,
I think the grass will hear you come
And tell it to my silent breast.

So for a moment in my sleep
A smile around my lips shall move
And bid my wand’ring soul be near
To whisper to you of my love.

To tell your heart how safe I lie
And dream my dreams all through the years;
And you will still your aching grief
For fear you hurt me with your tears.

So shall I wait in perfect rest
My gladdest dream until you pass
To know that even death must hear
Your loving footfall in the grass.

Only a Private

By Helen Combes

He was only a private, a simple lad,
Who had never answered the big world’s call;
Happy, contented with what he had —
Living and loving, and that was all.
But he heard the summons the patriots hear —
The ringing challenge to do or die
Which rings men’s hearts with a craven fear
Or lifts them up to a purpose high!

He was only a private, he did not know
Much of the warfare that mad men make;
But he learned of his country’s need, and so
Took the path that the patriots take.
Straight to the heart of the slaughter sent,
Knowing no guide but the word “Obey,”
Into the battle a private went —
But the soul of a hero was born that day!

He was only a private, but as he came
Out of the carnage, the blood, the stench,
Somewhere a faint voice called his name
And he turned his back on the shelt’ring trench;
Hastened alone, through the raging hell,
Sought ‘mid the dying his wounded friend,
Brought him in – but a bursting shell
Laid him low at the journey’s end.

He was only a private, but where they pen
Deathless records of heroes deeds
There on the roster of noblemen
The humble name of a private leads!
In a soldier’s grave, with the simple cross
Given “For Valor” pinned on his breast.
Great men mourned for the nation’s loss
When “only a private ” was laid to rest.