Page images
PDF
EPUB

Driving home tbe Cows

213

Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,

Shaking their horns in the evening wind; Cropping the buttercups out of the grass, –

But who was it following close behind ?

Loosely swung in the idle air

The empty sleeve of army blue;
And worn and pale from the crisping hair

Looked out a face that the father knew.

For Southern prisons will sometimes yawn,

And yield their dead unto life again ;
And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn

In golden glory at last may wane.

The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes ;

For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb; And under the silent evening skies,

Together they followed the cattle home.

[graphic]

BY WILLIAM WINTER

the orchard,
The work of the reaper

is done,
And the golden woodlands redden

In the blood of the dying sun.

At the cottage door the grandsire

Sits pale in his easy-chair,
While the gentle wind of twilight

Plays with his silver hair.

A woman is kneeling beside him ;

A fair young head is pressed,
In the first wild passion of sorrow,

Against his aged breast.

And far from over the distance
The faltering echoes come

1

[blocks in formation]

Of the flying blast of trumpet

And the rattling roll of the drum.

And the grandsire speaks in a whisper :

“The end, no man can see ; But we gave him to his country,

And we give our prayers to thee.”

The violets star the meadows,

The rosebuds fringe the door, And over the grassy orchard

The pink-white blossoms pour.

But the grandsire's chair is empty,

The cottage is dark and still ;
There 's a nameless grave in the battle-field,

And a new one under the hill.

And a pallid, tearless woman

By the cold hearth sits alone, And the old clock in the corner

Ticks on with a steady drone.

[graphic][subsumed]

“HE 'LL SEE IT WHEN HE WAKES."

BY FRANK LEE.

[In Bugle Echoes” Mr. Francis F. Browne introduces this poem with the following note:

“In one of the battles in Virginia, a gallant young Mississippian had fallen, and at night, just before burying him, there came a letter from his betrothed. One of the burial group took the letter and laid it upon the breast of the dead soldier, with the words : ‘Bury it with him. He 'll see it when he wakes.'"-EDITOR.]

A

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

MID the clouds of battle-smoke

The sun had died away,
And where the storm of battle broke

A thousand warriors lay.
A band of friends upon the field

Stood round a youthful form
Who, when the war-cloud's thunder pealed,

Had perished in the storm.
Upon his forehead, on his hair,
The coming moonlight breaks,

be'll see it wbeni be Wakes

217

And each dear brother standing there

A tender farewell takes.

But ere they laid him in his home

There came a comrade near,
And gave a token that had come

From her the dead held dear.
A moment's doubt upon them pressed,

Then one the letter takes,
And lays it low upon his breast-

“He 'll see it when he wakes."
O thou who dost in sorrow wait,

Whose heart with anguish breaks,
Though thy dear message came too late,

He 'll see it when he wakes."

No more amid the fiery storm

Shall his strong arm be seen;
No more his young and manly form

Tread Mississippi's green ;
And e'en thy tender words of love-

The words affection speaks-
Came all too late ; but oh ! thy love

“Will see them when he wakes."
No jars disturb his gentle rest,

No noise his slumber breaks,
But thy words sleep upon his breast-

He 'll see them when he wakes." [Southern.]

« EelmineJätka »