From the Newark Evening Star, July 8, 1914.
When riding on their motor trucks
I see the firemen pass,
Like soldiers dressed in uniforms
Of natty blue and brass,
I think about the volunteers
Who used, in other days,
To rally to the fire-alarm
And battle with the blaze.
When clanged upon the midnight air
That sudden summons loud,
The people tumbled out of bed,
A wild, excited crowd.
The barking dogs ran on ahead,
And shouts and cries arose
Above the crackle of the flames,
The hissing of the hose.
To save a neighbor’s little home
The axe and hose they plied,
Until among the cinders black
The lurid demon died.
The old red shirts they used to sport
Are full of moths and holes;
The men who wore them, too, are dead—
God rest their gallant souls!
But still we fear the smoky scourge,
And tremble with affright,
When suddenly the fire-alarm
Blares out upon the night.
So here’s a tribute from the heart,
A word of praise for all
The heroes of the hose and truck
Who answer to its call.