Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • You Can’t Always Tell

    From the Rock Island Argus, July 6, 1915. By Rody M’Phee.

    Hank Simmons was a patriot who loved his native land;
    Whenever danger threatened he would shout to beat the band.
    He was a staunch defender of the honor of the flag,
    And of his country’s martial strength he dearly loved to brag.
    A glorious example to his fellowmen was he
    Of what a pure, unselfish, noble patriot should be.

    The martial spirit he proclaimed from morning until night,
    Till folks began to hope for war to see Hank Simmons fight.
    With just a few good men like him, most everybody felt
    That we could lick the universe with one good solid welt.
    At last the evil day arrived when war became a fact,
    And everybody looked at Hank to see how he would act.

    Of course you think Hank shirked and hid and jarred his neighbors’ pride.
    Well if you do, you’ve struck it wrong—he fought and bled and died!