Marching Men: War Verses/'Tis Not the Will That's Wanted
'TIS NOT THE WILL THAT'S WANTED.
WOULD God that mine were better luck
Than falls to the lot of woman,
In these great days with the world ablaze
And Britain's face to the foeman;
In these great days when the hour has struck
Calling for every ounce of pluck—
God help me not to curse my luck
That I was born a woman!
Oh, for the stinging lash of the spray,
Green waves and wild commotion,
The lowering fogs where grim sea-dogs
Stalk ever the Northern ocean;
Watching by night, watching by day,
Ribbons of smoke in the offing grey,
Holding the Hun and his hordes at bay
Far in the wild North ocean!
Oh, for the airman's sinuous flight,
The great wings climbing, curving,
To desperate deeds as earth recedes
One's tightened pulses nerving,
Over the hostile camps at night,
Where red eyes gleam through the murky light,
A blow to strike for freedom's right
The God of freedom serving!
Or out on the tortured fields of France
Where hellish deeds are flaunted,
With face to the Rhine on the firing line
To stand with a heart undaunted;
'Mid screaming shell and shrapnel dance
Unmoved by outer circumstance,
To serve one's turn and take one's chance—
'Tis not the will that's wanted!