Posts Tagged ‘Berton Braley’

A REMINDER FROM THE A.E.F.

November 11, 2012

Image from warchat.org

A REMINDER FROM THE A.E.F.

By Berton Braley

Once on a time we marched gaily away from you.
Sailed overseas to the fields that were red,
Fought in the trenches — and waited for pay from you;
Starved for you, froze for you, suffered and bled.
Some of us stayed there, under the clover now
Sleep after deeds that were brave and sublime,
Do not forget, though the slaughter is over now,
We went through hell for you, once on a time!

True, all we fought for has not yet been realized,
“Statesmen and diplomats” plotted and schemed,
Scoffing at hopes that they thought were “Idealized”
Fools who could not understand what we dreamed;
Still, though the “leaders of thought” proved perfidious,
Dragging our visions through muck and through slime,
We freed mankind from a menace more hideous,
We saved the world for you, once on a time!

Four years have gone since the cannon ceased hammering,
Four years have passed since the conflict was won,
Aye, and in spite of all cynical clamoring,
It was a task that was splendidly done;
Peace is about us, the peace that we bought for you,
Bought with the splendor of youth in its prime.
Let not your memory lose what we wrought for you,
We won a war for you — once on a time!

(Copyright, 1922, NEA Service)

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 11, 1922

Swat the Fly, Wisconsin

June 26, 2012

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Jun 1, 1921

DO IT NOW

by Berton Braley

We must show no ruth or pity
To the fly!
In the country or the city,
He must die!
Do not cherish, do not pet him;
When you see him, go and get him,
Swat him quick and do not let him
Multiply!

Oh, he flits in all the breezes,
Does the fly,
Bringing various diseases;
That is why
We should slay him very quickly
Lest he swarm about us thickly
And we suddenly grow sickly —
And we die!

There’s not one redeeming feature
To the fly;
He’s an evil, loathsome creature,
None deny;
And the only way to treat him
Is to fight him when you meet him —
Smash, abolish, and delete him —
Swat the fly!

He’s a menace — we must pot him,
We must swat and swat and swat him,
While we shout our battle cry,
“Swat the Fly!”

(Copyright, 1921, by The Sheboygan Press.)

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Jun 1, 1921

FLITTING from dish to dish, taking his morning bath in baby’s milk, regaling himself in the butter and preening himself on the sugar bowl, the house fly again is with us. His feet covered with millions of disease germs, he goes on his way leaving death in many forms in his trail. Scientific experiments have shown that musca domestica, the ordinary house fly, is the most industrious and persistent spreader of contagion in the world. Countless thousands have been numbered among his victims and his toll of death among infants is appalling.

War to the death must be waged against this death-dealing insect. No other duty is so important to the housewife as the extermination of the fly. And the task is much easier now than it will be later when the breeding process has multiplied his numbers.

Swat the fly!

On of the most remarkable advances in modern medicine and sanitary science has come from the knowledge of the fact that many of the most murderous diseases of man and animals are caused by the bits of infected blood-sucking insects. The pioneers in this discovery were Theobald Smith and Kilborne, who showed a quarter of a century ago that the deadly Texas fever of cattle was caused by the bite of a fly — the Boophilus bovis, which had become infected by sucking the blood of affected cattle. This great discovery was soon followed by that of the relation of the mosquito to malaria and yellow fever, the relation of the tsetse fly to sleeping sickness and other forms of trypanosomiasis, the relation of the tick to tick fever, of the bug to relapsing fever, of numerous ticks to anaemic diseases in cattle causing vast economic losses.

In temperate climates it would appear that man is largely immune from blood-sucking infected insects. Recently, however, the house fly has been found to be a danger if in a manner somewhat different in so far as it is unable to penetrate the skin owing to the construction of its mouth apparatus. Whatever disease germs it carries it is a passive process, the chief danger being the contamination of foods by bacteria carried on the surface of its body or in its bowels. Of all insects the house fly is the most constant companion of man, tasting his food by day and frequenting his abode by night whether in the far north or the far south, whether on the land or on the steamers that ply on the great oceans. Its very name, Musca domestica, suggests its relation to man.

If the fly were a cleanly insect he might perhaps be tolerated, but from the double life he leads there is no question that he should be exterminated hip and thigh, for he spends half his day in the latrine or manure heap amid the most foul putridity that it is possible to imagine, amid dead, decaying and diseased matter, from which at intervals he comes to bathe in our mild jug or to poise himself on your pat of butter or your meat. Many of his habits have until recently been a riddle but are now becoming understood, and in consequence his presence is as much feared as many of his congeners who have forsaken the dunghill for a meal of good human or animal blood.

All modern experiments concur to show that the principal breeding place of the house fly is the moist, warm manure heap, cesspool, or latrine, although perhaps it must be admitted that some flies are more fastidious. If collections of filth were destroyed the fly plague would be kept largely in abeyance. As things are he can breed in countless numbers and at a great rate.

The evolution of the house fly is complex, for from the moment that the female deposits her eggs in warm purtrefying manure the young go through various stages of development. Within a matter of hours the egg splits and a minute grub creeps out. At the end of twenty-four hours it moults and passes into the second larval stage, which in a day or two moults again and finally becomes a sort of chrysalis. At the end of three or four days of chrysalis life the case opens and the fly emerges to commence its life work. Within ten days or a fortnight it may be sexually mature and commence to lay great batches of eggs. As a rule breeding goes on rapidly between June and October, although under certain circumstances it may go on all the year round. It is a common observation that flies seem to disappear in winter. This must be explained by their ability to hibernate, the first warm day waking them from their slumbers.

It is a fortunate circumstance that they are liable to various forms of destruction, for apart from the magnificent work carried out by the bird, by the spider, and other insects, the fly is subject to devastating diseases, particularly an infective condition set up by a fungus, the Empusa muscae. This plant, in the form of a spore, lights on the surface of the fly and begins to grow, throwing out a slender process which makes its way between the fly’s scales, and thus gains entrance to its body. In the course of a few days the fungus has invaded all its organs and tissues, and now sick unto death the fly may be easily caught or may drop dead where it has alighted.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Apr 21, 1915

As was said above the chief danger of the fly is that it may be a carrier of foul putrefactive or disease germs to articles of diet consumed by man. This is not a figment of the brain of the medical scientist; it is a proved fact. Indeed, long before accurate experiments proved this to be the case it was already supposed that the fly stood in some relation to typhoid fever, especially the typhoid of military stations and camps. There seems to be no doubt that much of the typhoid in the Spanish-American and South African wars were explicable on no other theory. In America this belief became so current that it was spoken of as “the typhoid fly.”

Accurate experiments carried out in this country and elsewhere have demonstrated the disease-carrying propensities of the Musca domestica. Typhoid germs have been recovered from its body days after it was infected. In the case of some germs it has actually been found that where the larva is infected the infection may persist throughout the moultings and be present in the adult or imago stage as late as nineteen days. Not only as a typhoid-carrier, the fly is also believed to carry the disease germs of tuberculosis, cholera, dysentery, and summer diarrhea of children, a disease which sweeps away vast numbers of bottle-fed children in every civilized community at the present day.

The necessity of removing or destroying all putrid organic matter and filth comes home to us when we remember that the fly is capable of long and rapid flights. In actual experiments marked flies were released and were captured half a mile away within forty-five minutes. That flies carry filth on their bodies can be readily shown by taking one from any place and allowing it to walk over the surface of a sterile nutrient jelly. Within a day or two masses of bacteria will have grown wherever its feet have touched. Picture to the mind the gross contamination which will occur when a fly weary with its half-mile flight from a dunghill takes its morning bath in your jug of milk at breakfast. This will bring the problem home to all, and by concerted effort the doom of the house fly will be sealed.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Jul 3, 1912

The fly-swatting crusade has been taken up seriously by a number of large cities, either officially or by self-constituted committees of public-spirited citizens. In Cleveland a two-weeks campaign against the fly has just been closed. The warfare was conducted under the direction of a citizens’ committee of fifty-five. A scale of prices was arranged to be regulated by the supply. The market opened at 10 cents a hundred and went down to 10 cents a quart when the swatters got to going right.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Jul 8, 1912

The artistic fly swatter was guaranteed a profitable market under this scale of prices, while 10 cents a hundred as the top limit made it impossible for a Napoleon of fly fiances to fill the cold storage warehouse with flies and ever after have champagne for breakfast. As it takes 10,000 flies to make a quart, the price per quart ranged from 10 cents to $10. A similar range in price in stocks within two weeks would set the country by the ears. The Cleveland plan gives the gambler chance enough, and the rights of the consumer and producer are safeguarded.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Sep 27, 1911

Ten cents a quart was the price established in Washington two years ago, but hat was a September price. One female crawling out of a warm corner in the month of April will start a family tree which, without casualties, would have a September membership of about three trillions.

A decrease in the price of flies from $10 a quart, the May figure, to ten cents. the September figure may seem great, but we must remember that the supply may have increased three trillion times.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Jun 3, 1912

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) May 15, 1912

A Modern Valentine

February 14, 2012

Image from Swing Fashionista

A MODERN VALENTINE

By Berton Braley

Oh Lady, be my Valentine and hearken to this plea of mine
Which will not be
Especially
Perfervid or impassioned;
For should I pull that kind of stuff you’d doubtless call it all a bluff
And calmly say
“Oh, run away,
That line of talk’s old fashioned.”

And so to you, dear Valentine, I will not write a single line
In which “My heart”
Is rhymed with “dart”
Or such-like tender folly; –
That style of wooing girls is dead;
I’ll simply ask you “Will you wed?”
If you’d say “Yes,”
I must confess
I’d think it rather jolly!

Then you, my modern Valentine, would keep your flat, and I keep mine;
You’d be content
To pay your rent,
I mine — just as at present,
And now and then by happy chance we might meet at a play or dance
Or at a tea,
And that would be
Indubitably pleasant
Oh Lady, Lady Valentine, I can’t adopt that modern line,
I love you, dear;
I want you near,
A sweet and loving woman!
What’s that? You will! Oh, gosh, that’s good — but still, I kinda thought you would,
You’re modern, yes;
But none the less
You’ve got a heart that’s human!

(Copyright, 1922)

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Feb 9, 1922

Hearts! How Many Can You Find?

HEARTS — HEARTS — HEARTS! JUST TRY TO COUNT THEM! ONE — TWO — THREE — HALF A DOZEN — AND THERE’S ANOTHER AND ANOTHER! HOW MANY HEARTS CAN YOU FIND IN THIS VALENTINE, DONE SO BEAUTIFULLY BY ETHEL HAYS.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Feb 14, 1927

Also from the Feb, 9, 1922 Lima News

I’m not so sure Mother would be happy to get this particular Valentine!

Files on Parade

December 17, 2011

WHERE are the President’s orders?
Where can a fellow trail
The code today that he must obey
Or land in a Federal jail?
Where are the latest edicts
Turned out by the cubic mile
By the ABC’s and the XYZ’s;
Where are they found on file?

SOME in the State Department,
Some in the Treasury,
Some in the courts or the weather reports,
Or the trucks of the D.S.C.
Some in the secret archives
Where dust of the ages blows,
And some you’ll find in the Brain Trust’s mind,
But — nobody really knows!

HOW can we find the orders
That tell us the way to do?
The various laws “with teeth and claws”
And fines and sentences, too?
We want to be strictly legal,
But we’re in a haze so far
As to what is what in these laws we’ve got
And where in the heck they are.

SOME in the War Department
And some in the NRA,
And some are kept in the Labor Dept.
And some in the Coast Sur-VEY.
And the Dead Letter Office has some,
And ever the tangle grows,
And the whole blame mess is a matter of guess,
For nobody really knows!

By Berton Braley.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Dec 29, 1934

I Wonder if the Kaiser’s Sleep is Sound

March 9, 2010

THE WAR LORD’S REST.

By Berton Braley.

I wonder if the kaiser’s sleep is sound,
Or if in dreams that startle him awake
He hears dead voices issue from the ground
and sees the ghosts of fallen hosts that shake
Their grisly fists before his staring eyes;
I wonder if about the imperial bed
He does not feel a force malignant rise
— The living curses of the murdered dead!

I wonder if the kaiser’s sleep is sound,
Or if in eerie stretches of the night,
He faces God in terrible affright.
The God he has blasphemed, the God he crowned
With Prussian bays for Prussian deeds of hate!
I wonder if he finds true rest in sleep
While little children moan and women weep
Because his lust for empire waxed too great!

He drew the sword and drenched the world in blood
He plunged mankind in agony profound;
I wonder if, amid this crimson flood,
The kaiser’s sleep is sound!

The Pittsburgh Press – Jun 13, 1917

DECEMBER.

Now ends the year that well began
In peace, upon the First of Jan.
Do You recall those days of Feb.
And now that it begins to ebb,
When submarines arose to bar
The way to peace? The month of Mar.,
When war upreared its grisly shape,
Or Wilson’s burning words, in Ap.?
That epoch seems so far away —
The martial song that rose in May,
The marching feet, the fifer’s tune,
The loan we made our land in June;
The men that went again to school
To learn the art of war, in Jul.;
The fight upon the Profit Hog
That waxed so hot in days of Aug.;
The crops that ripened as we slept,
And blessed us in the month of Sept.,
The Germans, so surprised and shocked
To find our boys across, in Oct.;
The coin we gave, the clothes we wove,
The sox we knitted, all through Nov.;
We’ve struck some mighty blows for Peace
Within the year that ends this Dec.!

–Ted Robinson in Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Daily Times – Dec 11, 1917

“Can You Lend Me Fifty Dollars?” says my Uncle Sam to me.

March 8, 2010

COMING ACROSS

By EZRA WEED.

“Can you lend me fifty dollars?” says my Uncle Sam to me.
“Well, Uncle, I don’t know,” I says, “I’ll have to go and see.”
“You’ll have to go and see?” he says, sarcastical and dry.
and I didn’t feel too cheerful when I looked him in the eye.

“Now, son, you listen here,” he says, “I’ll give it to you straight.
I know, — you’re in a hurry. Better let the hurry wait.
There’s things I’m going to tell you,– or try to, anyhow.
If you never done much thinkin’, you better do some now.

“I brought you up in freedom, I allowed you’d have the run
Of the fairest, finest country that ever got the sun.
I gave you school and readin’ as much as you could learn,
And never asked an hour of your service in return.

“You had it soft and easy; you didn’t have to fight;
And you looked on peace and plenty as if they was your right.
‘I took a chance to raise you,’ I said, ‘he won’t forget.
Some day he’ll do me credit.’ And this is what I get.

“I ask a little favor that you can do for me, —
So small I hate to ask it, — and, you’ve got to go and see!
I’ve strove with men and angels for the honor of our name, —
To make it stand for somethin’, and keep it clean of shame.

“I always planned to give you a country and a flag
You could call as good as any, and you wouldn’t have to brag.
If you figure so to keep them, I only know one plan
That’ll stand all kinds of acids, and that’s to be a man.

“So you better think it over and show what you can do.
I can use about a billion. So long. It’s up to you.”
Now I guess, unless I’m willing to be charged up as a loss
And thrown into the discard, I’ll have to come across.

The Carroll Herald – Oct 24, 1917

The Carroll Herald - Oct 24, 1917

Now, All Together.

By Grantland Rice.

Would you like to kick in on the world’s greatest cinch?
Would you like to belong when the cheering rolls in?
Would you care to deliver a punch in the pinch
That will help out a game which your country must win?
Would you like to be known as a quitter, or worse?
Or have you a vision of triumph beyond?
Would you like to help wipe out the Prussianized curse?
Then go out and dig for a Liberty bond.

We have come to the break in the world’s greatest game —
The rally is on that was long overdue,
And the score that shall wait at the end of the frame
Is up to the fellow at bat — meaning YOU.
The battle is on where a few lusty drives
Will clear up the future which waits on beyond.
Would you like to belong when the BIG DAY arrives?
Then go out and dig for a Liberty bond.

The Carroll Herald – Oct 24, 1917

BUY A BOND.

By Berton Braley.

If you hate oppression and lust and shame
If you hate the fiend with his eyes aflame,
If you burn with wrath at the word and deed
Of a crew of pirates whose only creed
Is the law of might and the rule of force
And death to all who oppose their course;
If an anger terrible scars your brain
At children murdered and women slain,
At crimsoned seas and at blackened sod
All done in the name of a Prussian God;
If you hate these things and you cannot go
To fight the cruel and ruthless foe
You CAN be loyal, you CAN respond
You CAN come forward and “BUY A BOND!”

If you love your country, your home, your flag,
If you would not witness that banner drag
In the dust of failure; if still you care
For what is lovely and true and fair;
If freedom isn’t an empty word
But a thing you love; if your heart is stirred
By though of a world made safe and free
For the sake of common humanity;
If these things seem worth while to you,
This is the service taht you can do.
Though you may not battle “across the pond,”
You CAN save money and “BUY A BOND!”

The Pittsburgh Press – Oct 10, 1917