Soldierly By Edgar Albert Guest


The glory of a soldier—and a soldier’s not a saint—
Is the way he does his duty without grumbling or complaint;
His work’s not always pleasant, but he does it rain or shine,
And he grabs a bit of glory when he’s fighting in the line;
But the lesson that he teaches every day to me an’ you
Is the way to do a duty that we do not like to do.

Any sort o’ chap can whistle when his work is mostly fun;
A hundred want the pleasant jobs to every sturdy one
That’ll grab the dreary duty an’ the mean an’ lowly task,
Or the drab an’ cheerless service that life often has to ask;
But somebody has to do it, an’ the test of me an’ you
Is the way we face the labor that we do not like to do.

Now, it isn’t very pleasant standin’ guard out in the rain
But it’s in the line o’ duty, an’ no soldier will complain,
An’ there isn’t any soldier but what sometimes hates his work
When the dress parade is over, an’ perhaps he’d like to shirk,
But he’s there to follow orders, not to pick an’ choose his post,
An’ he sometimes shines the finest at the job he hates the most.

Let’s be soldiers in the struggle, let’s be loyal through and through;
Life is going to give us duties that perhaps we’ll hate to do.
There’ll be little sacrifices that we will not like to make,
There’ll be many tasks unpleasant that will fall to us to take.
An’ although we all would rather do the work that brings applause,
Let’s forget our whims and fancies an’ just labor for the cause.


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