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The Children’s Army

From the Albuquerque Morning Journal, February 4, 1915. By Elias Lieberman.

No tune of tootling fife,
    No beat of the rolling drum,
And yet with the thrill of life
    The hordes of children come,
Freckled and chubby and lean,
    Indifferent, good and bad,
Bedraggled and dirty and clean,
    Richly and poorly clad,
They come on toddling feet
    To the schoolhouse door ahead;
The neighboring alley and street
    Resound to the infant tread.
Children of those who came
    To the land of the promising west,
Foreign of face and name,
    Are shoulder to shoulder pressed
With the youth of the native land
    In the quest of truth and light,
As the valorous little band
    Trudges to left and right.
Creed and color and race
    Unite from the ends of the earth,
Blending each noble trace
    In the pride of a glorious birth.
Race and hate and the past
    Fuse in a melting heat
As the little hearts beat fast
    To the stir of a common beat,
A fresher brawn and brain
    For the stock which the fates destroy
Belong to the cosmic strain
    Of American girl and boy.

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