Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/127

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THE sailor-boy slept on his mother s breast ; Heavily, slowly his breathing came; And his blue eyes opened as, stooping low,

Her soft voice whispered the sailor s name As tho it were sweet, while a human soul

Still leapt at the sound of a mortal word, To claim the familiar love-worn link

Ere it grew in the world beyond unheard.

"Is the tide in, mother? I had a dream,

As I tossed about through the weary night, Of a shining boat all of purest pearl,

And a boatman clad like the Northern Light. He bid me sail in the pearly craft ;

And I seemed to know neither fear nor doubt As he held me back with his shining oar,

Saying gravely, Wait till the tide runs out.

"And then I awoke. You were just asleep,

With your poor head down on the pillow laid; And so, as I thought of the waiting boat,

I linked my fingers and truly prayed. I said, Our Father in earnest thrice ;

It comforts me so when I lonely bide ; But, mother dear, I am going soon

Going out slowly, out with the tide.

"You ll keep my shirt with the silver stars, Though dim with the salt sea-water now, 11

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