Thomas of the Light Heart

Facing the guns, he jokes as well
As any Judge upon the Bench;
Between the crash of shell and shell
His laughter rings along the trench;
He seems immensely tickled by a
Projectile which he calls a “Black Maria.”

He whistles down the day-long road,
And, when the chilly shadows fall
And heavier hangs the weary load,
Is he down-hearted? Not at all.
’T is then he takes a light and airy
View of the tedious route to Tipperary.

His songs are not exactly hymns;
He never learned them in the choir;
And yet they brace his dragging limbs
Although they miss the sacred fire;
Although his choice and cherished gems
Do not include “The Watch upon the Thames.”

He takes to fighting as a game;
He does no talking, through his hat,
Of holy missions; all the same
He has his faith—be sure of that;
He’ll not disgrace his sporting breed,
Nor play what is n’t cricket. There’s his creed.

October, 1914

–Owen Seaman