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Jessie Pope

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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.

by this poet

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,
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
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