The Soldier's Deathbed
J. H. Johnson, Printer, No. 7 North 10th St.
The Soldier’s Deathbed.
Like thee to die, thou sun!—My boyhood’s dream
Was this; and now my spirit, with thy beam,
Ebbs form a field of victory!—yet the hour
Bears back upon me, with a torrent’s power,
Nature’s deep longings:—Oh! for some kind eye,
Wherein to meet love’s fervent farewell gaze;
Some breast to pillow life’s last agony,
Some voice, to speak of hope and brighter days,
Beyond the pas of shadows!—But I go,
I, that have so loved, go hence alone,
And ye, now gathering round my own hearth’s glow,
Sweet friends! it may be that a softer tone,
Even in this moment, with your laughing glee,
Mingles its cadence while you speak of me:
Of me, your soldier, ’midst the mountains lying,
On the red banner of his battles dying,
Far, far away!—and oh! your parting prayer—
Will not his name be fondly murmur’d there?
It will!—A blessing on that holy hearth!
Though clouds are darkening to o’ercast its mirth.
Mother! I may not hear they voice again;
Sisters! ye watch to greet my step in vain;
Young brother, fare thee well!—on each dear head
Blessing and love a thousand fold be shed,
My soul’s last earthly breathings!—May your home
Smile for you ever!—May no winter come,
No world, between your hearts!—May even your tears,
For my sake, full of long-remember’d years,
Quicken the true affections that entwine
Your lives in one bright bond!—I may not sleep
Amidst our fathers, where those tears might shine
Over my slumbers: yet your love will keep
My memory living in the ancestral halls,
Where shame hath never trod:—the dark night falls,
And I depart.—The brave are gone to rest,
The brother of my combats, on the breast
Of the red field they reap’d:—their work is done—
Thou, too, are set!—farewell, farewell, thou sun!
The last lone watcher of the bloody sod,
Offers a trusting spirit up to God.