Marching Men: War Verses/Rocking in the Bay

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ROCKING IN THE BAY.

FROM my nook beneath the pine
I can see the graceful line
Of the little brown canoe in the bay;
Bright and windy is the weather,
But there's no one to untether
And go speeding to the open far away
Where the ragged clouds are flying,
And the sunset gold is dying,—
Empty, listless, she is lying,
Idly rocking, idly rocking
In the bay.

How she'd leap to answer him
When he took the paddle slim
And they'd race as laughing victors to the fray!
They would climb the waves together,
Riding buoyant as a feather—
Or a bird that slants a wet wing to the spray;
But the echoing laughter dies,
Lone and far the seagull cries,
And the little playmate lies
Idly rocking, idly rocking
In the bay.


Son o' mine, O little son,
Has the race indeed been run—
Have the storm-clouds turned the blue and gold to grey?
God be praised who gave you grace,
Strength of heart and will to face
Wilder winds upon the death-fields far away;
God be praised for lads like you,
And for hearts that measure true,
Though we turn our brimming eyes
To your little brown canoe
By the reedy shore that lies
All the empty summer through
Idly rocking, idly rocking
In the bay.