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Little And Good by Jessie Pope

Little And Good

Young Thompson was a bit too short,
But hard as nails and level-headed,
And in his soul the proper sort
Of dogged pluck was deeply bedded ;
To join the ranks he almost ran,
But saw the weedy supersede him ;
Though he was every inch a man,
His country didn’t need him.

He read each passionate appeal
On wall and window, cab and cart ;
How impotent they made him feel !
He tried once more, though sick at heart.
In vain ! He saw the sergeants smirk ;
He argued, but they would not heed him ;
So sullenly trudged back to work
His country didn’t need him.

But, now the standard height’s curtailed,
Again he goes to join the ranks ;
Though yesterday he tried and failed
To-day they welcome him with thanks.
Apparently, he’s just as small,
But since his size no more impedes him,
In spirit he is six foot tall
Because his country needs him.

Jessie Pope
(1868 – 1941)
Little And Good
From: War Poems

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