poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

occasions

About this poet

Jessie Pope was born in 1868 in Leicester, England. She studied at the North London Collegiate School for Girls. She began writing articles and light, often humorous verse for Punch magazine and other popular publications. She is best known for her poetry of World War I, published in Jessie Pope’s War Poems (G. Richards, 1915) and More War Poems (G. Richards, 1915). Though Pope was widely read during the war, she is often vilified now for her poetry’s light-hearted, pro-war sentiments, especially in comparison to contemporaries such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. She died on December 14, 1941, in Devon, England.

"Bobs"

The call came in the stormy night,
    Beneath a stranger’s sky.
The soldier of a life-long fight,
    Still fighting, went to die.

His country’s honour was his goal;
    Patient, unswerving, brave,
His mind, his heart, his work, his soul—
    His very all, he gave.  

He toiled to rouse us from our sleep,
    And now he takes his rest,
And we—it is not ours to weep,
    But follow his behest.

’Tis ours to make this matter plain—
    That though our “Bobs” has gone,
Though dust returns to dust again—
    His soul goes marching on. 

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Jessie Pope

Jessie Pope was born in 1868 in Leicester, England. She is best known for her poetry of World War I, published in Jessie Pope’s War Poems (G. Richards, 1915) and More War Poems (G. Richards, 1915). Pope died in 1941 in Devon, England.

by this poet

poem
Twenty-two stalwarts in stripes and shorts
    Kicking a ball along,
Set in a square of leather-lunged sports
    Twenty-two thousand strong,
Some of them shabby, some of them spruce,
    Savagely clamorous all,
Hurling endearments, advice or abuse,
    At the muscular boys on the ball. 

Stark and stiff ’neath a
poem
To-day, since Zeppelins are in the air,
    And folks glance skywards as they go their ways,
Let us hark back a bit to an affair
    That happened in Queen Bess’s sturdy days,
When the Armada, backed by Spanish lust—
    A fleet that floating palaces resembled—
Sailed proudly forth to crush us in the dust,
poem
Hodge waded through the weekly news,
    “The Income Tax,” he said,
“That’s nowt to me, I shallunt lose,
    ’Twill hit the boss instead. 
Lloyd Garge he be the man for I,
    Us poor have nowt to bear.”
He paused—then gave a dismal cry:
    “They’re goin’ to tax my beer!”

“A good thing too!” replied