Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/97

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91
THE BLACK SHEEP.



Where toilworn hands fling back a bribe,
 Where honesty makes good its trust,
Where promises are kept through pain,
 Where still, tho tempted, men are just,—
There are life s soldiers brave and true;
 And when this warfare shall be o'er,
As heroes brave shall those appear
 Whose courage was undreamed before.




THE BLACK SHEEP.


FARMER GREY had a flock fair as farmer might own;
 Love tended and sheltered were they;
They trod on his toes, as the younglings will do,
 But his heart was untrodden alway,
Till the years, rolling onward, browned brighter the curls,
 And the heads from his knee reached his shoulder;
And then, as tho' Nature had done something odd,
 He marvelled to find them grown older.

When fair blushing Alice and young Reuben Lee
 Came homeward the longest way round
From school and from church, he wondered the while
 What the children to talk about found.
Till Rose tied her hair with a twist and a curl,
 And John trained a whisker to grow,