Thanks to my usual cast and crew of advance readers and editors, especially Dragonsweb & The OldFart
"If any question why we died, / Tell them, because our fathers lied."
The Jingo-Woman by Helen Hamilton
Date of writing is unknown, but circa 1916
The poem is apparently uncopyrighted and is in the public domain.
Jingo-woman (How I dislike you !) Dealer in white feather, Insulter, self-appointed, Of all the men you meet, Not dressed in uniform, When to your mind, (A sorry mind), They should be, The test ? The judgement of your eye, That wild, infuriate eye, Whose glance, so you declare, Reveals unerringly, Who's good for military service. Oh ! exasperating woman, I'd like to wring your neck, I really would ! You make all women seem such duffers ! Besides exemptions, Enforced and held reluctantly, -Not that you'll believe it - You must know surely Men there are, and young men too, Physically not fit to serve, Who look in their civilian garb Quite stout and hearty. And most of whom, I'll wager, Have been rejected several times. How keen, though, your delight, Keen and malignant, Should one offer you his seat, In crowded bus or train, Thus giving you the chance to say, In cold, incisive tones of scorn: 'No I much prefer to stand As you, young man, are not in khaki !' Heavens ! I wonder you're alive ! Oh, these men, These twice-insulted men, What iron self-control they show, What wonderful forbearance ! But still the day may come For you to prove yourself As sacrificial as upbraiding. So far they are not taking us But if the war goes on much longer They might, Nay more, They must, When the last man has gone. And if and when that dark day dawns, You'll join up first, of course, Without waiting to be fetched. But in the meantime, Do hold your tongue ! You shame us women. Can't you see it isn't decent, To flout and goad men into doing, What is not asked of you ?