One Wreath of Rue

By Cynthia Westover Alden

The brawny lad in khaki clad,

We rightly cheer. Alas,

My eyes grow dim! I weigh with him,

The boy

Who failed

To pass.

A heart more brave no man could have,

His soul as clear as glass.

He faced with zest the doctor-test—

The boy

Who failed

To pass.

And now the blow is hurting so,

He sees the legions mass.

They go to war. Be sorry for

The boy

Who failed

To pass.

The future grim is flouting him

As in the weakling class.

Though fine and true, his years are few—

The boy

Who failed

To pass.

For warriors proud blow bugles loud,

Of silver or of brass;

One wreath of rue is due unto

The boy

Who failed

To pass.