Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/203

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


THE WIFE S LETTER. 1 97

"And this !" On the brown face comes a shade;

The eyes grow dimmer, and strangely dark ; Across the temple there reddens fast The line of the rugged sabre-mark.

The solemn glance of the lifted face Is over days that have fled for aye ;

A comrade sleeps after battle well

Where the folded tents of the soldiers lie.

A vision comes of a toilsome march, A picture made out of battle-smoke

A reeling form and a crimson pool

Where the line of battle wav ring broke.

But this, the name in violet ink,

The monogram with its letters three !

Above the mouth, see ! the hand is laid, Lest we, the smile which it hides, may see.

Ah ! useless quite is the studied calm ;

Any idler near, the tale may tell That a thousand miles away, there bides

A woman fair, and she loves him well.

A gentle light in the eyes that read,

A smile through the beard and hand betrayed, A tender care for its folding up

Before its weight o er a heart is laid.

Away from common and business words, It softly lies like a sacred thing 17*

�� �