THE SENTINEL’S DREAM OF HOME.
By Col. A. M. Hobby.
|’Tis dead of night, nor voice, nor sound, breaks on the stillness of the air,|
The waning moon goes coldly down on frozen fields and forests bare:
The solemn stars are glittering high, while here my lonely watch I keep,
To guard the brave with anxious eye, who sweetly dream and sweetly sleep.
Perchance of home these sleepers dream, of sainted ones no longer here,
Whose mystic forms low bend unseen, and breathe soft whispers in their ear:
Sleep on, sleep on, my comrades brave, quaff deep to-night of pleasure’s cup,
Ere morning’s crimson banners wave, and reveille shall rouse thee up.
The sporting winds and waves to-night seem tired of their boisterous play,
And armed ships, with signal lights and bristling guns before me lay:
But not of ships nor battle-fields, with clash of arms and roll of drums—
To softer scenes my spirit yields—to-night a sweeter vision comes.
It is thine own beloved one! whose kiss I feel, whose smile I see;
O God! protect that wife at home, begirt with growing infancy:
To-night, to-night I’m with you there, around my knees fond children gather!
And climb, the envied kiss to share, amidst the sounds of “Husband! Father!”
Such thoughts my eyes with moisture fill, my bosom heaves, my pulses start;
Close down I’ll press my gun to still the wild emotions of my heart:
Hush! pleading one—I cannot stay! the spoiler comes with fiendish wrath—
Black ruin marks his bloody way, and blazing homes have lit his path.
“Go, husband, go! God nerve thy blows—their footsteps foul blot from our shore—
Strike! ’till our land is free from foes whose hands are stained with Southern gore;
Strike! husband, strike—I’d rather weep, the widow of a patriot brave,
Than lay my heart (I’d scorn to sleep) beside a subjugated slave.”
Thy woman’s soul is true and grand! the battle-field my home shall be,
Until our country’ll proudly stand acknowledged as a nation free;
’Till then, oh, welcome fields of strife, the victor’s shout, the vanquished cry,
Where ebbs the crimson stream of life, where quick and dead together lie.
’Mid bursting shell and squadron’s dash, where broken ranks disorder’d fly,
Where angry cannon’s flash on flash paints hell upon the lurid sky,
Where many a brave shall sink to rest, and fondly cherish’d hopes will set,
And blood that warms the manly heart, will dim the glittering bayonet.
When these are past, and victory’s sun in undimm’d splendor lights the skies,
And peace, by dauntless valor won, and proudly free our banner flies,
Then to my Western prairie home, with eager haste, each nerve shall strain,
Nor from its hallow’d precincts roam, unless my country call again.
There unalloy’d shall be our bliss; we’ll watch the sun give morning birth,
And, sinking, leave his parting kiss upon the dewy lips of earth.
The moon has waxed and waned away; the morning star rides pale and high—
Fond dreams of home no longer stay, but fade like stars on mornings sky.
Galveston, Texas, Feb. 1, 1864.