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EFFICIENCY

By permission of the author

I

For forty years he plotted,
For forty years he planned,
His ships on every ocean,
His spies in every land;
He perverted social progress,
He exploited poor men's thrift,
He "utilized" the princeling
And the human wreck adrift.
There was naught for him too trifling,
Or too great for him to wrench,
He corrupted press and pulpit,
Even Justice on the bench;
The maid who dressed my lady
The man who drove her car,
The statesman in the senate,
And the men who lead in war.


And yet for all his well laid trains,
For all the fires he fanned,
For all the things he bought and sold,
And all the plots he planned:
He shall not pull it off, my boy,
He can not put it through,
He's up against a world in arms
Of fearless men and true.


II

Forty years of preparation,
All at a tyrant's will,
For forty years, a nation
In one eternal drill;
His furnaces ablazing
With case of mighty guns,
Shipyards crammed with seacraft
And dreadnaughts, tons on tons;
Learn'd men concocting poison,
Devising gun and snare,
To ruin a friendly neighbor
And slay him unaware.
No enemy was moving,
No flag of war unfurled,
He plotted 'gainst a peaceful,
An unsuspecting world.


And yet for all his well-laid trains,
For all the fires he fanned,
For all the things he bought and sold.
And all the plots he planned:
He shall not pull it off, my boy,
He can not put it through,
He's up against a world in arms
Of fearless men and true.


III

For three years now you'e beaten him,
In sky, on earth, at sea,
Briton, Frenchman, Belgian,
And the men of Italy;
He boasted he'd sack Paris,
The Marne proved that boast vain,
He names no more Verdun nor Somme,
He's beaten on the Aisne.
And now 'tis for America
To join the valiant line,
To run him from his cover,
Back to the river Rhine.
If you had plotted forty years
To murder your nearest friend,
What would you think if your success
Attained no better end?


Foiled, disgraced, bankrupt, and bled,
Despised: now God forefend,
If this be not for "efficiency"
A very sorry end.
He shall not pull it off, my boy,
He can not put it through,
He's up against a world in arms
Of fearless men and true.