Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

His Bit - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

GALLANTLY swung the old carpenter up to his door,
Drums and fifes in his tread,
But softly he crossed the braided mats on the floor,
Gently he stroked her head.
'More folks were there at the station than ever I knew,
Bidding the lad good-by.
Here's a daisy he picked at the platform's edge for you,
Kissing it on the sly.
'He'll do his part, our boy, on the fighting line';
— She caught the flower to her lips—
'And you with your knitting, and I have signed up for mine,
Work on the wooden ships.
'Oh, but it's hard to be old when the bugles call,
Yet I hav'n't lost my chance.
I'll be in the shipyard the day the first trees fall,
Before the boy's in France.'

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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