I WISH I'D BEEN IN THE WAR

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  • World Affairs Institute

    I WISH I'D BEEN IN THE WARAuthor(s): ALBERT RICHARD WETJENSource: Advocate of Peace through Justice, Vol. 89, No. 5 (May, 1927), p. 305Published by: World Affairs InstituteStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20661599 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 08:46

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  • 1927 I WISH FD BEEN IN THE WAR 305

    I WISH I'D BEEN IN THE WAR (Child's Complaint)

    By ALBERT RICHARD WETJEN

    (Reprinted by special permission from The Saturday Evening Post; copyright 1927 by the Curtis Publishing Company.)

    Rockets at dawning when the barn cocks

    crow.

    Ev'ry man ashen and his heart pounds

    large ; Ev'ry man shaking as the minutes go.

    Only seven more before we charge. Rockets at dawning, and the men breathe

    fast.

    There's half the division going through. See the major sweating as he turns at last,

    And puts away his watch?stand to!

    Three golden rockets bright against the

    gray. Hear the whistles shrilling up the line!

    Heave up! Over! What's the Captain say?

    Battalion, steady! Right, incline!

    Seven down, eight down ! . . . Damn the

    wire and mud!

    Take open order! . . . How the hell

    can we see? . . .

    Where's the major running with his face all

    blood? Ten of us took cover here and now there's

    three.

    Whistles shrilling out again! Bombers to the fore!

    Forward the company! . . . What's

    left to run. . . .

    Hold up, George! Whatcher screaming for?

    Got it in the guts ! Let 'im go ! He's done !

    Machine guns!?drop, you fools! Listen to

    the lead

    Like angry bees in summer. . . . Damn

    the smoke!

    Stretcher! Stretcher! clear away the dead!

    And once I thought the war was just a

    joke!

    Up again, you blighters ! . . . Golly, ain't

    it wet. . . .

    Mills grenades to clear that traverse?

    so

    One last run for the crumbling parapet. . . .

    Bayonets at the ready. Let's go! Thrust! Hah! Use the butt. Guard again,

    there !

    Smash 'im till he can't move any more.

    Steel and butt and bullet?anything is fair.

    Blood and mud and lead. That's war!

    Glory and adventure! Hear the bugles call!

    But, little brother, hide away and cry;

    For it's nothing like the war you play at all,

    When men you've learned to love go out

    to die.

    Rockets at dawning when the barn cocks

    crow !

    The best of the men will be the first to go !

    Choking with the chlorine, croaking in the

    lead;

    Lying in the wire and wishing they were dead:

    Bleeding from the gullet, burning up with pain ;

    The best go first, and they never walk again.

    Stand here, little brother, and watch the

    colors go. Aren't the generals pretty as they lead the

    show?

    See the shiny buttons and bands of shiny brass.

    And don't you feel all thrilly as the men

    march past?

    But remember, little brother, a battle isn't

    fought With bands and shiny

    * buttons, exactly as

    you thought; And soldiers don't look pretty charging

    through the mud;

    And there isn't much adventure with gas and

    lead and blood.

    So remember, little brother, when the bugles

    call,

    The war they always talk of isn't like your

    war at all.

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    Article Contentsp. 305

    Issue Table of ContentsAdvocate of Peace through Justice, Vol. 89, No. 5 (May, 1927), pp. 261-320EDITORIALSTHE AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY MOVING ALONG [pp. 261-263]THREE FACTORS IN THE CHINESE SITUATION [pp. 263-265]THE DISEASE IN OUR BONES OF CONTENTION [pp. 265-267]TRIALS OF THE DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE [pp. 267-268]IS THE PORTER-DRAGO DOCTRINE DEAD? [pp. 268-269]CHILE [pp. 269-271]IS CYNICISM CONQUERING OUR YOUTH? [pp. 271-272]CREATIVE WORK AMONG THE NEGROES [pp. 272-275]

    WORLD PROBLEMS IN REVIEWTHE CHINESE CRISIS [pp. 276-277]COMMITTEE AT GENEVA ON CODIFICATION OF LAW [pp. 277-278]WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN IN WORLD TRADE [pp. 278-279]INTERNATIONAL TRADE BARRIERS [pp. 280-280]NEW REVOLT IN THE RIFF [pp. 280-281]DUTCH-BELGIAN TREATY [pp. 281-282]BRITISH POLICY IN INDIA [pp. 282-283]GERMAN FOREIGN POLICY [pp. 284-285]GROWTH OF GERMAN TRUSTS [pp. 285-287]BELGIUM AND THE GERMAN MENACE [pp. 287-288]SOVIET-POLISH NEGOTIATIONS [pp. 288-288]CIVIL AVIATION AND DISARMAMENT [pp. 289-289]PRESIDENT COOLIDGE AND THE UNITED PRESS [pp. 289-289]CONFERENCE FOR FILIPNO INDEPENDENCE CONDEMNS THE COOLIDGE VETO [pp. 290-290]

    MOTION PICTURES, TRADE, AND THE WELFARE OF OUR WESTERN HEMISPHERE [pp. 291-296]HOW FAR MUST WE PROTECT OUR CITIZENS ABROAD? [pp. 296-299]SEAPORTS AND HINTERLANDS [pp. 299-301]IN FAVOR OF OUTLAWING POISON GAS: SPEECH OF HON. HAMILTON FISH, JR., OF NEW YORK: In the House of Representatives, Friday, January 21, 1927 [pp. 302-304]I WISH I'D BEEN IN THE WAR [pp. 305-305]INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTSBRITISH ANTI-STRIKE LAW [pp. 306-309]LITHUANIAN-SOVIET TREATY [pp. 309-311]

    News in Brief [pp. 311-315]LETTER BOX [pp. 316-316]BOOK REVIEWSReview: untitled [pp. 317-317]Review: untitled [pp. 317-317]Review: untitled [pp. 317-318]Review: untitled [pp. 318-318]Review: untitled [pp. 318-318]Review: untitled [pp. 318-318]Review: untitled [pp. 318-319]Review: untitled [pp. 319-319]Review: untitled [pp. 319-319]Review: untitled [pp. 319-319]Review: untitled [pp. 319-320]Review: untitled [pp. 320-320]Review: untitled [pp. 320-320]