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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.

The War Budget

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 his wife.
    “’Twill keep you from the pub,
Swilling each evening of your life,
    While I work at the tub!”
Across the inglenook she reached,
    The welcome news to see,
Then, in resentful clamour, screeched:
    “3d. a pound on tea!”

                                    MORAL

To foot the bill it’s only fair 
    That everyone should do their share,
And since we all are served the same,
    Pay and look pleasant—that’s the game.

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
Leonidas of Sparta, years gone by,
    With but a bare three hundred of his braves,
In the ravine of famed Thermopylæ
    Held up the Persian army’s endless waves.
Smiling, among the forest of his spears,
    “Lay down your arms,” the haughty Xerxes cried.
The Spartan’s answer echoes down the years,
    “Come
poem
Not theirs the popular uniform
That takes the feminine heart by storm,
And wins soft glances, shy or warm,
        The perquisites of pluck.
But theirs the commonplace city kit,
With a blue and white stripe round the sleeve of it,
And a stout little truncheon to do the trick,
         If ever they have the luck
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