I’M THINKING OF THE SOLDIER.

By Mary E. Smith, of Austin, Texas.

O, I’m thinking of the soldier as the evening shadows fall,
As the twilight fairy sketches her sad picture on the wall;
As the trees are resting sadly on the waveless silence deep,
Like the barks upon the ocean when the winds are hush’d to sleep.

All my soul is with the absent, as the evening shadows fall;
While the ghosts of night are spreading o’er the dying light a pall;
As the robes of day are trailing in the halls of eventide,
And yon radiant star is wooing blushing eve to be his bride.

I have shunn’d the cosy parlor—for a silence lingers there,
Since our lov’d one went to battle, and we find a vacant chair;
And a sigh is stealing upward, as the evening spirits come,
With the zephyrs, to the bowers of this sadly deserted home.

For when soft “good nights” are ended there’s a room not like the rest,
Since a soldier left that chamber and that pillow is unprest;
O, my soul is in a shadow, and my heart cannot be gay,
As the eve with low refraining comes to shroud the dying day.

 

For I’m dreaming of the soldier, on his pallet bed of straw;
As the leaves are growing yellow and November winds are raw—
And a vision comes before me of aching, fever’d brow;
And a proud form blighted, blasted, strangely, strangely alter’d now.

And I feel that strong heart beating fainter, fainter with each breath,
Fluttering softly in its prison, fluttering thro’ the gate of death;
And a voice of sad despairing stirs my heart’s deep fountain now,—
As my hand is slowly wandering o’er that strangely altered brow.

And a sigh, soul full of longing, fills the chambers of my soul—
While the quivering heart-strings whisper “Life’s a tale that soon is told;”
God of Love, receive the soldier on that dim mysterious shore,
Where the weary are at rest and souls are sad, ah! nevermore.

Still the dusky sybil, “Future,” on her dim, prophetic leaves,
Writes that death will claim the soldier, when he gathers up his sheaves;
This is why I’m ever sighing, and my heart cannot be gay,
As the eve with low refraining comes to shroud the dying day.

That is why I still am sighing as the deep gray shadows fall,
As the twilight spirit settles down her shadows in the hall,
And I’m praying for the soldier from a soul with sorrow sore,
For our soldier boys have left us—gone, perchance, to come no more.