Amanda Theodocia Jones: Inventor and Writer
The Soldier's Mother
The sad moon is weaving her shroud;
The pale, drooping lily-bells quake;
The river is sobbing aloud.
I wand your sweet face in my sight,
While I open my room to the night:
The torn clouds are flying, the lupine is sighing,
The whip-poor-will wails in affright.
Now soaring and breaking its bond;
'T is the woodbine, perhaps, by the door,
Or the blooming acacia beyond.
But chide me not, love, for I heard,
Three times in the depth of my sleep,
The clang of a terrible word.
"Your Harry is dying," it cried;
"Is dying" and "dying," it sighed;
As bells that, in tolling, set echoes to rolling,
Till fainting sound ebbs like the tide.
My eye pierced the distance afar,
Where, by the plowed field of the fray,
The camp-fire shone out like a star.
And southward, unhindered, I fled,
By the instinct of motherhood led;
The night-wind was blowing, the red blood was flowing,
And Harry was dying--was dead!
Look! the window is lit by a face.
It is not? Well, how lifelike it seemed!
Go, draw down the curtains of lace.
It may be 't was only a flower;
For fancy has wonderful power.
The loud wind is whirring--hark! something is stirring--
'T is midnight--the clock knells the hour.
His garments were spotted with gore;
His foot crushed the lily-bells white--
He entered the vine-covered door.
"Your Harry is dying," he said:
The mother just lifted her head,
And answered, unweeping, like one who is sleeping,
"Not dying, good soldier, but dead!"