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Margaret Junkin Preston (Маргарет Джанкин Престон)

The Bivouac in the Snow

Halt!—the march is over,
 Day is almost done;
Loose the cumbrous knapsack,
 Drop the heavy gun.
Chilled and wet and weary,
 Wander to and fro,
Seeking wood to kindle
 Fires amidst the snow.

Round the bright blaze gather,
 Heed not sleet or cold;
Ye are Spartan soldiers,
 Stout and brave and bold.
Never Xerxian army
 Yet subdued a foe
Who but asked a blanket
 On a bed of snow.

Shivering, 'midst the darkness,
 Christian men are found,
There devoutly kneeling
 On the frozen ground—
Pleading for their country,
 In its hour of woe—
For the soldiers marching
 Shoeless through the snow.

Lost in heavy slumbers,
 Free from toil and strife,
Dreaming of their dear ones—
 Home, and child, and wife—
Tentless they are lying,
 While the fires burn low—
Lying in their blankets
 'Midst December's snow.

Margaret Junkin Preston's other poems:
  1. Acceptation
  2. Hymn to the National Flag
  3. Gone Forward
  4. A November Nocturne
  5. The Shade of the Trees

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