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Each day, Newspaper History presents a poem that appeared in an American Newspaper 108 years ago.

The Peasant Soldier

From The Topeka State Journal, September 22, 1914. By James J. Montague.

He has no hope for conquest; he has no lust for power;
His bosom does not burn to share in triumph’s glorious hour;
He bears no hatred in his heart against his brother man;
Unlearned he is in strategy or statesman’s scheme or plan.
But when throughout the troubled land there rings the battle cry,
Unknowing and unquestioning, he marches forth to die.

No prizes are there to be gained for his too common kind;
He wins no splendid spoils of war for those he leaves behind.
Whatever glory there may be, the great ones of the earth
Will never yield to his mean kin, all folk of peasant birth.
But when he sees upon the hills the battle banners fly
He marches calmly to his death—nor thinks to wonder why.


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