Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/29

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23
OUR FOLKS.


And so—fair Annie blooms no more!
 And that's the matter with your folks.

"See, this long curl was kept for you;
 And this white blossom from her breast;
And here, your sister Bessie wrote
 A letter telling all the rest.
Bear up, old friend."
 Nobody speaks;
 Only the old camp-raven croaks,
And soldiers whisper: "Boys, be still;
 There's some bad news from Granger's folks."

He turns his back (the only foe
 That ever saw it) on this grief,
And, as men will, keeps down the tears
 Kind Nature sends to Woe's relief.
Then answers he: "Ay, Hal, I'll try;
 But in my throat there's something chokes,
Because, you see, I've thought so long
 To count her in among our folks.

"I s'pose she must be happy now,
 But still I will keep thinking too
I could have kept all trouble off
 By being tender, kind, and true.
But maybe not.
 She's safe up there;
 And when the Hand deals other strokes,
She'll stand by heaven's gate, I know,
 And wait to welcome in our folks."