I'm just too old for drilling
I can't hike anymore;
So I'm bound for the soldiers' graveyard
Behind an office door.
They sing - "Old soldiers never die."
We don't; we live on crumbs -
The shrilling, splendid bugles
An' the thunder of the drums!
I won't do Guard in a snowstorm
An' I won't hafta go an' fire;
It's just messin' around an office
An' waiting to retire.
"Approved per First Indorsement ..."
An' through the window comes
The music of a Guardmount
An' the cadenced, throbbin' drums!
Twenty-three and a butt in the Doughboys;
Why, I've hiked a million miles!
But they said my age couldn't stand it
An' they detailed me to the files!
This work is nice for some men
Who can take it as it comes.
But you know their hearts ain't achin'
For the pullin', poundin' drums!
D.S. 1/4C. an' a non-combatant!
When there's guys tha'd give their life
To piddle around an office
An' go home at night to the wife.
But I'll get back to formation;
There's a day that always comes:
An' I'll ride on a painted cassion
With the muffled, sobbin' drums!
TenEyck Van Deusen