29 June 1918

A Soldier’s Wife by Dryblower (Edwin Greenslade Murphy) of Western Australia

If your limbs aren’t fit for a soldier’s life,
Or you’re bent with the yesteryears,
Will you pause to the plea of a soldier’s wife
Whose comfort is long in arrears?
Will you think of the men who are fighting Fritz
With their back to the channel blue—
The men who are daily blown to bits
The men who are seeing it through?
Will you help the woman who bade them go
To the world’s stupendous strife?
Will you who’ve never been called apart
From the cosy home and the moneyed mart,
Will you, in the goodness of your heart,
Assist a soldier’s wife?

It isn’t much she’s asking you;
You know where your duty lies;
They needn’t be stylish, swank or new,
But her body for covering cries.
He fights for you in the mud and mire;
She draws his paltry pay,
And huddles beside the feeble fire
When the winter days are grey.
Out in the streets the new recruits
Follow the drum and fife,
But the tap of the drum to her la a shot,
While the music mocks her lonely lot;
So, if your soul has a tender spot
Assist a soldier’s wife.

You motor down to the shopping town;
She tramps in the sludge and sleet;
Your furs are beautiful, warm and brown;
Frost’s fingers freeze the feet.
You spend an hour deciding which new costume you will wear;
She mends her raiments stitch by stitch
And darns the rent and tear.
She stares starvation in the face;
You lead a luxury life.
But though you may think you’ve done your share
When your name on subscription lists you air,
With anything that you have to spare
Assist a soldier’s wife.

The art of giving by God was taught,
The angels carried it on;
Give it to-day an earnest thought
In the city beside the Swan.
A costume, a cloak, some boots and a blouse—”
Anything women wear;
You’ll find them where the silvers browse
And the moth has made his lair.
Though the rattle and ring of the charity box
Just now is rather rife,
You whose darlings are safe at home
For the sake of a fighter far over the foam,
Assist a soldier’s wife.

Her dear one faces the shrieking shell
That we shall in safety live.
Daily he faces the horrors of hell,
The least he’s got to give.
He’s bit by bullet and stabbed by steel
Where the life-tides ebb and flow
That we shall read of the green earth’s weal,
While he only knows its woe.
The deadliest weapon your fingers grip
Is a tenpenny tale knife,
So you who cannot go yourself
Search well your cupboard, box and shelf
And assist a soldier’s wife.

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This entry was posted on June 29th, 2018.