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"IS

S there any news of the war?” she said.

“Only a list of the wounded and dead,”
Was the man's reply,
Without lifting his eye

To the face of the woman standing by.
“'T is the very thing I want,” she said ;
“Read me a list of the wounded and dead.”
He read the list—'t was a sad array
Of the wounded and killed in the fatal fray.

In the very midst, was a pause to tell
Of a gallant youth who fought so well
That his comrades asked: “Who is he, pray?
“The only son of the Widow Gray,”

Was the proud reply

Of his captain nigh-
What ails the woman standing near?
Her face has the ashen hue of fear !

“Well, well, read on; is he wounded ? Quick ! O God! but my heart is sorrow-sick !

Is he wounded ?” “No; he fell, they say,
Killed outright on that fatal day!”
But see, the woman has swooned away!

Sadly she opened her eyes to the light;
Slowly recalled the events of the fight;
Faintly she murmured : “Killed outright!
It has cost me the life of my only son;
But the battle is fought, and the victory won;
The will of the Lord, let it be done!”

God pity the cheerless Widow Gray,
And send from the halls of eternal day

The light of his peace to illumine her way. [Southern.]

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[The tenderly pathetic story told in this poem is true. Its heroine was Margaret Augusta Peterson, a volunteer nurse in St. Mary's Hospital at Rochester, New York. She died in the manner related, on the first of September, 1864, and lies buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, as does also the young surgeon, her lover.-EDITOR.]

THRO

'HROUGH the sombre arch of that gateway tower

Where my humblest townsman rides at last, You may spy the bells of a nodding flower,

On a double mound that is thickly grassed.

And between the spring and the summer time,

Or ever the lilac's bloom is shed, When they come with banners and wreaths and rhyme,

To deck the tombs of the nation's dead,

They find there a little flag in the grass,

And fing a handful of roses down, And pause a moment before they pass

To the captain's grave with the gilded crown.

But if perchance they seek to recall

What name, what deeds, these honors declare, They cannot tell, they are silent all

As the noiseless harebell nodding there.

She was tall, with an almost manly grace,

And young, with strange wisdom for one so young, And fair with more than a woman's face ;

With dark, deep eyes, and a mirthful tongue.

The poor and the fatherless knew her smile;

The friend in sorrow had seen her tears ; She had studied the ways of the rough world's guile,

And read the romance of historic years.

What she might have been in these times of ours,

At once it is easy and hard to guess ; For always a riddle are half-used powers,

And always a power is lovingness.

But her fortunes fell upon evil days—

If days are evil when evil dies,-
And she was not one who could stand at gaze

Where the hopes of humanity fall and rise.

A Woman of tbe War

267

Nor could she dance to the viol's tune,

When the drum was throbbing throughout the land, Or dream in the light of the summer moon

When Treason was clenching his mailèd hand.

Through the long gray hospital's corridor

She journeyed many a mournful league, And her light foot fell on the oaken floor

As if it never could know fatigue.

She stood by the good old surgeon's side,

And the sufferers smiled as they saw her stand; She wrote, and the mothers marvelled and cried

At their darling soldiers' feminine hand.

She was last in the ward when the lights burned low,

And sleep called a truce to his foeman Pain; At the midnight cry she was first to go,

To bind up the bleeding wound again.

For sometimes the wreck of a man would rise,

Weird and gaunt in the watch-lamp's gleam, and tear away bandage and splints and ties,

Fighting the battle all o'er in his dream.

No wonder the youngest surgeon felt

A charm in the presence of that brave soul, Through weary weeks, as she nightly knelt

With the letter from home or the doctor's dole.

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