THE DARLINGS AT HOME.

By Col. C. G. Forshey.

The sentinel treads his martial round,
Afar from his humble home—
The soldier he tramps till his thoughts are found
On missions of love and tenderness bound,
Away among his darlings to roam.

What tender emotions now over him rush!
And the tears down his bearded cheeks steal,
As he sees his darlings from their sportings rush,
And bound to meet him with a joyful gush,
“Papa’s come!” from their happy lips peal.

Bright Mary! as fleet as a bounding gazelle,
Is into his arms with a spring;
And Cabie, with voice clear as a bell,
“There’s papa, dear papa!” his joyous notes swell
Yet choking with tears as they ring.

And next, little Nubbie comes toddling along,
Bright curls streaming out to the wind—
With hands reaching up, and infantile tongue—
He’s lifted the welcoming group among—
As tears the stern sentinel blind.

And then, with the darling bright babe, mamma comes,
To welcome him home to their cot—
What sobs and caresses,
That happy group blesses;
Is the sentinel dreaming or not?

The stern sergeant of guard, calls out from his tent,
“Number Four has deserted his post!”
The sentinel nearest saw whither he went,
And found him, o’er musket, in reverie bent,
At home—with his little ones—lost!
****
The sentinel treads his lonely round—
As dawn in the East is breaking
A cannon’s deep thundering shakes the ground!
Another! an army springs up at the sound—
To thousands Death’s reveille waking!

What a thrilling pang traverses his soul!
And a tear down his cheek is stealing,
For a thought of home, with the drum’s deep roll,
Spite a soldier’s manliness, over him stole,
As the trumpet of battle was pealing.

A moment he saw his darlings and wife;
To Heaven he breath’d a short prayer!
To his country then consecrated his life,
Rush’d in where the clamor of battle was rife—
When a tempest of ball filled the air.
****
A wounded soldier, who fell by the Run,
Lies panting for breath and for water—
His hand still grasping his trusty gun—
Expires ’mid the glad notes of “victory won!”
On Manassas’ red field of slaughter.
****
In a far away cabin, a wailing is heard,
When the lists of the fallen have come;
A mother, long sicken’d by hope deferr’d,
A widow with orphans is made at a word,
And she weeps o’er the “darlings at home.”