Mother's Waiting for her Soldier Boy


Mother’s Waiting for her Soldier Boy

By the blue Potomac’s waters,
By the Rappahannock’s line
By the sunny Southern rivers,
’Neath the holly and the pine.
Falling in the shock of battle,
Wounded, in their blood they lie’—
Pining with the dark malaria,—
So our youthful patriots die.

In the city, in the village,
In the hamlet far away,
Sit the mothers, watching, waiting,
For their soldier-boys to-day.
They are coming, daily coming,
One by one, and score by score,
In their leaden casings folded,
Underneath the flag they bore.

Thinks the mother, weeping, waiting,
And expectant all the day,—
When his regiment was summoned,
How her soldier went away;
With his bayonet a-gleaming,
With his knapsack on his back,
With his blanket strapped and folded,—
And his home filled haversack.

Thinking of the courage swelling
In his eye and in his heart,
Though many a manly tear was welling,
When he kissed her to depart.
Thinking of his precious letters
Written be the camp-fire’s glow,
Rich in love of home and country,
And of her who bade him go.

Counting now the lagging moments,
For the knocking at the door,
For the shuffling and the tramping
Feet of strangers on the floor;
Bringing in their precious burden,
Leaving her to grief and tears,
To the sorrow and the mourning
Darkening all the coming years.

Stay the wailing and the sighing
Who in bitterness complain;
Said’st thou that our sons were dying,
Pouring out their blood, in vain?
God forbid! He slays the first-born
That the people may be free!
Not a drop of blood is wasted!
’Tis the price of Liberty!

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