Arlouine

(1830-1900 / USA)

Our Soldier Cousin


Glide, river, gently to the sea;
Sing dirges low and tender;
Bear partings oft breathed near to thee,
By patriot truth-defenders;
Waft soothing murmurs from thy shores,
To hearts so fondly loving;
One sigh for us, who, more and more,
Grieve for a soldier cousin.

Glow, campfires, with your glittering gleam,
On hill, in covert valley,
While dim the flickering taper beams,
Upon his pallet lowly.
Dread fever dried his young life's fount,
Yet reason came at even;
He spoke of home, then upward mounts
His soul - that soldier cousin's.

'Twas this he said - to them now dear,
These words, so so fitly spoken -
'Tell father, mother, sister, there,
My hold on life's most broken;
Yes, dear ones, only brother lone,
Weep not - but live for Heaven;
I'm happy now - meet me at home'.
Thus died our soldier cousin.

Ah! noble cousin, on that morn,
When 'cross the Rappahannock,
So noiseless fled those warrior forms,
Hid by thy brave band's banner,
Did'st think so soon thy weary feet,
This river'd cross to Heaven.
While angels covered thy retreat,
Safe over - soldier cousin?

To think we were at home with thee,
But six short months agone,
And as thy sister pressed the keys,
We all joined in the song!
But now thou'rt gone! - o'er ruined joys,
Like call of the Muezzin,
Echo brings back our manly voice,
Our noble soldier cousin.

Now, as the lone ones in thy home,
Surround the hearth at even,
And calmly close the sacred tome,
And raise the song to Heaven,
They pause and sigh, and tear drops fall,
For no more thou art coming,
To kneel in prayer with the loved all,
At home - dear soldier cousin.

Yet though they miss thee through long hours,
Faith fills the vacant chair,
Points upward to the heavenly bowers,
And sweetly saith 'He's there!'
Ah, yes, 'he's there!' His Christian heart
Would heed his country's bidding;
He's done the patriot hero's part -
God loves our soldier cousin!

There's cheer in this, too, mourning ones,
We know our Christian cousin,
When ranked with freedom's noble sons,
Was bannered sure for Heaven.
Then weep no more; press back the tears,
Save for the fond hearts riven,
Who mourns their dead mid hope and fear,
But 'at home' is our soldier cousin.

Submitted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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