Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/23

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13
THE READING-CLUB.

He's taken out his furlough, and short enough it seemed:
I often tell Mehitabel he'll think he only dreamed
Of walking with her nights so bright you couldn't see a star,
And hearing the swift tide come in across the harbor bar.

The stars that shine above the stripes, they light him southward now;
The tide of war has swept him back; he's made a solemn vow
To build himself no home-nest till his country's work is done:
God bless the vow, and speed the work, my patriot, my son!

And yet it is a pretty place where his new house might be,—
An orchard-road that leads your eye straight out upon the sea.
The boy not work his father's farm? it seems almost a shame;
But any selfish plan for him he'd never let me name.

He's re-enlisted for the war, for victory or for death;
A soldier's grave, perhaps! the thought has half-way stopped my breath,
And driven a cloud across the sun. My boy, it will not be!
The war will soon be over, home again you'll come to me.
 
He's re-enlisted; and I smiled to see him going too!
There's nothing that becomes him half so well as army blue.
Only a private in the ranks! but sure I am, indeed,
If all the privates were like him, they'd scarcely captains need.

And I and Massachusetts share the honor of his birth,—
The grand old State! to me the best in all the peopled earth!
I cannot hold a musket, but I have a son who can;
And I'm proud, for Freedom's sake, to be the mother of a man.

Lucy Larcom.


SHE STOOD ON THE STAIR.

She stood at the turn of the stair,
With the rose-tinted light on her face,
And the gold of her hair gleaming out
From a mystical billow of lace.