The Things That Make A Soldier Great
Edgar Guest 

The things that make a soldier great 
 and send him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon's mouth 
 nor ever question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, 
 the row of tulips red,
The peonies and pansies, too, 
 the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, 
 the roses on the wall:
'Tis these that make a soldier great.
He's fighting for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings 
 that make a soldier brave;
'Tis not allegiance to the flag 
 that over him may wave;
For soldiers never fight so well 
 on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see 
 the little place called home.
Endanger but that humble street 
 whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man 
 who never bore a gun.

What is it through the battle smoke 
 the valiant solider sees?
The little garden far away, 
 the budding apple trees,
The little patch of ground back there, 
 the children at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind 
 the simple church of gray.
The golden thread of courage 
 isn't linked to castle dome
But to the spot, where'er it be --
 the humblest spot called home.

And now the lilacs bud again 
 and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away 
 know spring is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, 
 the grass once more is green,
And every man can see the spot 
 where all his joys have been.
He sees his children smile at him, 
 he hears the bugle call,
And only death can stop him now --
 he's fighting for them all.

~ Unsorted ~
Good Books    When Day Is Done    What We Need
God Made This Day For Me    The Homely Man    The Joys We Miss
What I Call Living    If This Were All    A Christmas Carol
Forgotten Boyhood    The Peaks of Valor    No Children!
The Loss Is Not So Great    Home and the Office    He's Taken Out His Papers
No Room for Hate    A Boy and His Dog    No Better Land Than This

~ Patriotism ~
A Patriotic Creed    Memorial Day    Show the Flag
Things That Make A Soldier Great    
Forefathers' Day    A Creed    A Patriotic Wish
The Future

~ Everyday Living ~
Raisen Pie    Out Fishin'   

~ Friendship ~
A Friend    Be A Friend    A Friends Greeting

~ Having Character ~
At The Door    Myself    You   
The Brethren    The Love of the Game    Influence
The Finer Thought    When You Know A Fellow    Thoughtlessness
Things That Haven't Been Done Before    The Cheat    Equipment
True Nobility    Can't

~ On Being A Dad ~
Only A Dad    Afraid Of His Dad    Story Telling

~ Boys & Girls ~
Treasures    The Beauties    Being Brave At Night
A Boy and His Dad    The Good Little Boy   

~ The Babies ~
A New Baby In The House    A Child Of Mine
When A Baby Dies    Baby Feet    What A Baby Costs

~ Being A Man ~
A Real Man    My Creed    A Man
Lord Make Me A Regular Man    The Man Who Couldn't Save
The True Man    Answering Him

~ Home & The Family~
The Little Home    On Going Home For Christmas    Take Home A Smile
The Stick-Together Families    The Perfect Dinner Table
Home (It Takes A Heap O' Livin')

~ God & Faith ~
Silent    When Sorrow Comes    Sermons We See
The First Easter    As We Prayed    The Weaver
Faith    On a Certain Religious Argument   

~ Life ~
Life    It Couldn't Be Done    See It Through
Life's Canvas   

~ A Certain Kind Of Folk ~
The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders    The Scoutmaster

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