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- Hello, Boys! - 1/13 -

Transcribed from the 1919 Gay and Hancock edition by David Price, email


Contents: Forward Thanksgiving The Brave Highland Laddies Men of the Sea Ode to the British Fleet The German Fleet Deep unto deep was calling The Song of the Allies Ten thousand men a day "America will not turn back" War The Hour The Message "Flowers of France" Our Atlas Camp Followers Come Back Clean Camouflage The Awakening The Khaki Boys who were not at the Front Time's Hymn of Hate Dear Motherland of France The Spirit of Great Joan Speak The Girl of the U.S.A. Passing the Buck Song of the Aviator The Stevedores A Song of Home The Swan of Dijon Veils In France I saw a Hill American Boys, Hello! De Rochambeau After The Blasphemy of Guns The Crimes of Peace It May Be Then and Now Widows Conversation I, too He that hath ears Answers How is it? 'Let us give thanks' The Black Sheep One by one Prayer Be not Dismayed Ascension The Deadliest Sin The Rainbow of Promise They shall not win


The greater part of these verses dealing with the war were written in France during my recent seven months' sojourn there, and for the purpose of using in entertainments given in camps and hospitals to thousands of American soldiers.

They were the result of coming into close contact with the soldiers' mind and heart, and were intentionally expressed in the simplest manner, without any consideration of methods approved by modern critics. The fact that I have been asked to autograph scores of copies of many of these verses (and one of them to the extent of 350 copies) is more gratifying to me than would be the highest encomiums of the purely literary critic.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox London, October 1918.


Thanksgiving for the strong armed day, That lifted war's red curse, When Peace, that lordly little word, Was uttered in a voice that stirred - Yea, shook the Universe.

Thanksgiving for the Mighty Hour That brimmed the Victor's cup, When England signalled to the foe, 'The German flag must be brought low And not again hauled up!'

Thanksgiving for the sea and air Free from the Devil's might! Thanksgiving that the human race Can lift once more a rev'rent face, And say, 'God helps the Right.'

Thanksgiving for our men who came In Heaven-protected ships, The waning tide of hope to swell, With 'Lusitania' and 'Cavell' As watchwords on their lips.

Thanksgiving that our splendid dead, All radiant with youth, Dwell near to us--there is no death. Thanksgiving for the broad new faith That helps us know this truth.


I had seen our splendid soldiers in their khaki uniforms, And their leaders with a Sam Brown belt; I had seen the fighting Britons and Colonials in swarms, I had seen the blue-clad Frenchmen, and I felt That the mighty martial show Had no new sight to bestow, Till I walked on Piccadilly, and my word! By the bonnie Highland laddies In their kilts and their plaidies, To a wholly new sensation I was stirred.

They were like some old-time picture, or a scene from out a play, They were stalwart, they were young, and debonnair; Their jaunty little caps they wore in such a fetching way, And they showed their handsome legs, and didn't care - And they seemed to own the town As they strode on up and down - Oh, they surely were a sight for tired eyes! Those braw, bonnie laddies In their kilts and their plaidies, And I stared at them with pleasure and surprise.

I had read about the valour of old Scotland's warrior sons - How they fought to a finish, or else fell; I had heard the name bestowed on them by agitated Huns, Who called these skirted soldiers 'Dames of Hell'; And I gave them right of way On their London holiday, As I met them swinging down the street and Strand, Those bonnie, bonnie laddies In their kilts and their plaidies, And I breathed a blessing on them and their land

Now the world is all rejoicing that the end of war has come - And no heart is any gladder than my own, That the brutal, blatant voices of the guns at last are dumb, And the Dove of Peace from out her cage has flown. Yet, when men no more march by, Making pictures for the eye, There's a vital dash of colour earth will lack, When the brave Highland laddies Drop their kilts and their plaidies, And return to common clothes of grey or black!


Many the songs of the brave boys sent Over The Top in the battle's thunder; But mine is the song of the men who went Over the top of the waves--and under.

Men of the sea, Men of the sea, I lift mine eyes to the Flags unfurled - The Flags of Victory blowing free Over the new-born world. And I cry 'Thank God! these things can be! Thank God, and the Men of the Sea!'

Little it matters to what they belong, Marine or Navy--or Merchant Ship -

Hello, Boys! - 1/13

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