The Breaking Point                                                                                                   
--from: Songs Of The Training Camps (Officers Training School)

There's a feud between Kelly and Klaw,
They sputter like steaks on a grid,
For Klaw calls big Kelly a "Chaw"
And Kelly says Klaw is a "Yid;"
There's a row between Linton and Jones,
And there's trouble with Hyland and Wright.
And our barrack resounds with the tones
Of quarrel, dissension, and fight.

We used to be joyous and blithe
And pleasant and placid to boot,
But lately two-thirds of us writhe
In a nervous excitement acute;
We're fidgety, crochety, sore
We wake at the dawn with a scowl,
And things that we grinned at before
Now cause us to curse and to growl.

The reason?  It's simple enough,
We've worked and we've studied and grilled,
We've gone through a mill that is rough,
We've dug and we've hiked and we've drilled,
And now that we're pretty near through
And most of the labor is past,
We're fretting and wondering who
Will land the commissions at last.

There's rumor and whisper at mess
And guesses in trench and latrine,
We spread wild reports as we dress,
We gossip at school and canteen;
We hear they'll examine on this
Or lay all their stress upon that ---
What marvel our nerves go amiss
And everyone talks through his hat?

But wait till it's over; then Klaw
And Kelly will patch up their row,
And Linton and Jones will haw-haw
At the way that they carry on now;
The winners and those they defeat
Will act like good men who fought well,
For the finish is not hard to meet
It's only the worry that's hell!

Published in: The Popular Magazine, March 7, 1918

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