Our Firemen.

Our Firemen.

( Written for FIRE AND WATER.)

In olden times, when the battle-field was the scene of glorious deeds, the bravery of our forefathe is was extolled in story and in song. They fought for freedom, the greatest heritage of man; they battled for their homes and native land; they faced the enemy, prepared to conquer or die in the struggle. The gory battle-ground, covered with the bodies of friends and foes, was a heartrending sight to the survivors. All honor to our gallant soldiers! None can, none will, question their noble work. Another picture presents itself. Men are battling again to save our lives and homes. They face danger in every conceivable shape without one thought, save that of duty to their fellow-men. They expect little or no reward, and in many instances find their expectations realized. The modern hero wears no epaulettes, and when death comes no monument is erected to the memory of one whose sole aim was to save the lives and property of his neighbor. A good, honest fireman is one of the truest men on God’s green earth. Night and day he is called upon to risk his life to save the homes of rich and poor. True it is that he receives pay for his labor, but how many citizens would take the place of a fireman for the amount paid monthly in any city ? Consider for one moment the danger to life and limb standing in his way. Falling walls, deadly electric wires, stifling smoke and roaring flames. Watch the fireman battling fearlessly with fire, and then answer whether heroes are only found where men meet to destroy and pillage. In every city and hamlet the born fireman awaits the call to duty. The reddened sky nerves him onThe foe has no terrors, and when a crushed and shapeless body is extracted from the ruins of a burning building, then the busy world pauses for a moment to pity the wife and family of a man who forgot everything but the safety of his fellow-men. ’Tis true that the chosen heroes of earth stood alone while those they labored for hurled at them contumely, scorn and contempt. Labor on, brave men ! Some day the true value of the protectors of our homes will receive proper appreciation.

Stand up erect! Thou hast the form And likeness of thy God ?—who more ?

A soul as dauntless ’mid the storm Of daily life ; a heart as warm

And pure as breast e’er wore.

Our Firemen.


Our Firemen.

Let others sing how men have trod The warrior’s path to fame,

And write in human tears and blood, Some high, historic name !

Be ours to tell the honors due To nobler fields of strife ;

The grander deeds that crown the true And dauntless Fireman life !

He seeks no phantom glory,

He asks no laurel crown,

No name in song and story.

No heralded renown,

’Tis enough for him that danger Impends o’er home and weal Of foeman, friend and stranger— lie heeds the clarion peal!

He fights a foe that never sleeps,

That wars on those who do,

And Ruin’s woeful harvest reaps,

With terrors ever new ;

He wages war that knows no truce,

At Mercy’s high behest,

W ith zeal no blandishments seduce. With toil that scarce knows rest.

No trumpet blast inspires him With eager thirst for strife.

Nor mortal hatred fires him With transient scorn of life ;

He stands where self-enkindled thought For others’ welfare pleads,

To more than martial ardor wrought. And more than martial deeds.

When others cease from daily tasks— And rest he needs, as they—

No ease the faithful Fireman asks,

II duty says him nay !

To self-appointed toll he springs.

And perils all unknown—

A hero whom no laureate sings,

For whom no palm is grown ;

But better plaudits greet him Than warrior ever won—

The conscious hearts that greet him With praise of kindness done ;

Of strength, unstinted, freely spent To succor, save and cheer ;

A life of sacrifice, content To be a volunteer !

Then if, with glowing pen and tongue. We blazon bloody deeds,

And weave our coronals for men Whose spoils are mourning weeds, What richer guerdon may they claim, What praise should never cease,

Who stand, our shield from fire or flame, The marshaled hosts of peace ?

Our Horae Guard, never sleeping, Save on the field and armed, Their watchful vigil keeping,

Lest we and ours be harmed 1

Ye Minute men of help in need !

Though other flames you rout,

The fire of love which is your meed,

You never can put out!

—Utica Observer,