Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/50

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44
BY THE COTTONWOOD TREE.


An', stranger—hold on till I tell you; there now!—
 It laid little Joe in the ground.

I know'd then I'd got to send Hetty off East
 If I cared about keepin' her here;
She pined to a shadder, an' moped by his grave,
 Though her eyes brighter grew, and more clear.

If you'd seen her poor face when I told her I'd go
 And take her home visitin'! Well,
I'll never forget how she put out her hands
 Into mine, an', fur joy, cried a spell.

She didn't feel strong, though, that week or the next,
 An' the cough an' the fever increased;
While softly she whispered—she couldn't speak
 loud—
"You ll take me by'm by, to the East?"

 * * * *

She never got East; any further than that
 (And a hand pointed off to the mound);
But I'm goin' to take her and Joe, when I go,
 To her father's old buryin'-ground.

This, stranger, 's the reason I'm willin' to sell;
 You can buy at a bargain, you see;
It's mighty good land fur a settler to own,
 But it looks like a graveyard to me.


Ornament - altp1.jpg