Comrades in Arm-Lets

Not theirs the popular uniform
That takes the feminine heart by storm,
And wins soft glances, shy or warm,
        The perquisites of pluck.
But theirs the commonplace city kit,
With a blue and white stripe round the sleeve of it,
And a stout little truncheon to do the trick,
         If ever they have the luck.

Not theirs to fight on the Allie’s wing,
Or even the march with soldierly swing,
While the people are cheering like anything,
         To the stirring roll of drums.
But theirs to stand ’neath a pitchy sky.
On a lonely beat, with a vigilant eye
For the skulking shape of a German spy
         Who—bother him!—never comes.

By night they guard—though possibly bored—
Those places where light and water are stored,
And—since the family can’t be ignored—
         Business as usual by day.
Though sport may be scanty compared with the blanks,
They’re doing their level, the armletted ranks,
With no expectation of ha’pence or thanks,
         For that is the S.C.’s way.

This poem is in the public domain.