The 1930's


We have no record of the origin of this poem except that it was found amongst a group of photographs known to us as the Kuncken Collection - a collection of images and papers of a soldier by the name of Kuncken who was posted to Fort Drum during the early 1930's.




Poor little Nell, You've sure played hell,

You've plighted your troth to a soldier,

You'll live to regret it and don't forget it,

Just wait and see what I've told you.


From pillar to post, from coast to coast,

And away to the Isles of the sea,

You'll have no home, but are doomed to roam,

At the whim of the powers that be.


A few wild flowers you'll pluck from the bowers,

That grow by the side of the road,

But a Very small measure of joy and pleasure,

You will find to lighten your load.


You'll live in a shack with rags on your back,

And eat your meals from a tin,

You'll bunk on decks, eat roast for your sex,

And take pot-luck with the men.


It's a miserable life for the soldier's wife,

And you'll soon get tired of the game,

The wise one said with a wag of the head,

But she married him just the same.


Yes, she gave her hand to the soldier man,

And she made a house of his shack,

She shortened each mile with her cheerful smile,

And she helped him to carry his pack.


And she buckled his sword, as she whispered the word,

That gave him the will to win,

And she sang all the day, when he was away,

And smiled when he came home again.


She's a regular sport of the old army sort,

And gets a great joy out of life,

For she knows how to give, as well as to live,

Like a sure enough soldier's wife.


Oh, no one denies that the wise one was wise,

And all that he said was true,

But brave little Nell is a soldier as well,

And the mother of soldiers too





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