Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The Khaki Boys Who Were Not At The Front - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Oh! it is not just the men who face the guns,
Not the fighters at the Front alone, to-day
Who will bring the longed-for close to the bloody fray, for those
Could not carry on that fray without the ones
Who are working at war's problems far away.

You are all our splendid heroes in the strife,
And we class you with the warriors maimed and scarred,
Though you never have been near enough the battle din to hear,
While you laboured in the dull routine of life
In your khaki suits with sleeves that are not barred.

You have offered up yourselves to save the world;
You have felt the abnegation of the Christ:
And whatever work you do is a noble work and true;
Though it be not done with banners all unfurled,
You will find it has, in sight of God, sufficed.

While you carry back no medals when you go,
Not without you had the fighters borne war's brunt:
So just lift your heads uncowed, for your country will be proud
And its lasting love and honour will bestow
On the khaki boys who were not at the Front.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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