Hello, everyone. I posted this poem (found in a facsimile copy of the B.E.F. Times that I picked up in a brocante in central France for 5 francs) way at the end of another thread concerning anti-war songs. I didn't notice the original date on the thread at the time (dated from '98, I think), so probably no one saw it. Just in case it might interest someone—-looks to me like it might make a decent song--here it is again.
PROFIT AND LOSS
(poem from the B.E.F. Times, no author credit)
Now William Hohenzollern, the King of all the Huns,
Had quite a lot of country and he also had six sons,
Of money, too, he'd plenty and a larder fully stocked---
In fact he'd all he wanted, so at grief and care he mocked.
Karl Bromberg lived in comfort with his frau and family,
His sons they numbered seven and his daughters numbered three;
They'd just enough of everything and wished for nothing more,
(This happy time, you understand, was just before the war).
For reasons which they never knew Karl Baumberg's seven sons
Were quickly clad in suits of grey and labelled " food for guns,"
Two rot in mud near Wipers and another at Verdun,
The Somme accounted for a brace and Paschendaele for one.
The one remaining to old Karl is missing both his arms,
His fighting days are finished and he's sick of war's alarms;
He grinds his teeth in fury while old Karl hunts round for food,
And his mother freely curses both the Kaiser and his brood.
His one remaining sister (death has claimed the other two)
Out of water and a horse-bone tries to make a dish of stew,
Comes a mandate, "Our great Kaiser has another victory won
Fly your flags and cheer, by order, for the victory of Verdun."
Then old Karl, whose waking senses grasp a fact both strange and new,
That the victories are worthless if they bring no end in view,
And he curses Kaiser William who's the king of all the Huns,
But his frau is quietly sobbing for---the Kaiser has six sons.