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Poem by Menella Bute Smedley

A Dream of the War

Forget-me-nots grow by the stream,
Their blue eyes look up to the skies;
I think I have seen in a dream
As blue and as beautiful eyes!
The brooklet runs quivering on,
Its little waves glitter and gleam;
In my dreams I have seen such a one,
But it was not a brook in my dream.

On the bank of the brooklet I lay,
And gather'd the little blue stars,

And I thought of the men far away,
Who were fighting for me in the wars.
Who were fighting for me and for you,
'Mid dangers that well might appall:
All hearts should to soldiers be true,
For they offer their lives for us all!

He came, with his poor wooden leg,
His arm was tied up in a sling,
He never attempted to beg,
And look'd just as proud as a king!
He was young, and my heart bled for that;
He was poortatter'd coat and torn boot;
Two fingers went up to his hat,
And he gave me a soldier's salute.

Ah, soldier! I cried, is it so?
Have you come from the wars far away,
Where you fought for me bravely, I know,
And your life was go gallant and gay!
Poor, wounded, disabled, alone,
But how inexpressibly dear!
Take all I can give, 'tis your own,
Food, shelter, and money are here.

He look'd at me sadly, and smiled;
He said, To my home I must creep;
I have got such a dear little child,
Whom I only have seen in my sleep!
My wife thinks the moments are long'
She watches and waits in our cot;
She loved me when stately and strong,
She will love me more now,will she not?

I do not believe I shall die,
Though carried as dead from the fight.
I eagerly cried, Nor do I!
I pray'd for you morning and night!
In every church through the land
Have prayers for your welfare been said.
He answer'd, I don't understand
Who cared if I lived or were dead?

Ah, soldier! you fought for us all;
Each woman and child was your care;
And England replied to the call,
And thought of each man in her prayer.
In churches and homes where we knelt,
And prayers with our very hearts made,
For every soldier we felt,
For every soldier we pray'd!

To the soul of the loyal and brave,
The love of his country is sweet.
The brooklet flow'd on like a wave;
The Forget-me-nots fell at his feet.
My heart seem'd to quiver and beat,
The brooklet to glitter and gleam;
The Forget-me-nots fell at the feet
Of the soldier I saw in my dream!

Menella Bute Smedley

Menella Bute Smedley's other poems:
  1. The Little Fair Soul
  2. A Prayer for One Beloved
  3. The Little Queen
  4. The Tournament
  5. The Lay of King James I in his Captivity

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