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Edgar A. Guest

“He was just a small church parson when the
war broke out, and he
Looked and dressed and acted like all parsons
that we see.
He wore the cleric's broadcloth and he hooked
his vest behind.
But he had a man's religion and he had a stong
man's mind.
And he heard the call to duty, and he quit his
church and went.
And he bravely tramped right with 'em every-
where the boys were sent.

He put aside his broadcloth and he put the
khaki on;
Said he'd come to be a soldier and was going
to live like one.
Then he'd refereed the prize fights that the boys
pulled off at night,
And if no one else was handy he'd put on the
gloves and fight.
He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the sol-
diers' needs,
And he said: "I'm done with preaching; this
is now the time for deeds."

He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell
the size of shell
From the shriek it make above him, and he knew
just where it fell.
In the front line trench he laboured, and he knew
the feel of mud,
And he didn't run from danger and he wasn't
scared of blood.
He wrote letters for the wounded, and he cheered
them with his jokes,
And he never made a visit without passing round
the smokes.

Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt be-
side a lad
Who was "going west" right speedy, and they
both seemed mighty glad,
'Cause he held the boy's hand tighter, and he
smiled and whispered low,
"Now you needn't fear the journey; over there
with you I'll go."
And they both passed out together, arm in arm
I think they went.
He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the
boys were sent.”


Edgar A. Guest
tags: chaplain, death, war
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