In the first dawn she lifted from her bed
The holy silver of her noble head,
And listened, listened, listened for his tread.
‘Too soon, too soon !’ she murmured, ‘Yet I’ll keep
My vigil longer thou, O tender Sleep,
Art but the joy of those who wake and weep!
‘Joy’s self hath keen, wide eyes. O flesh of mine,
And mine own blood and bone, the very wine
Of my aged heart, I see thy dear eyes shine!
‘I hear thy tread; thy light, loved footsteps run
Along the way, eager for that ‘Well done !’
We’ll weep and kiss to thee, my soldier son!
‘Blest mother I he lives! Yet had he died
Blest were I still, I sent him on the tide
Of my full heart to save his nation’s pride!’
‘O God, if that I tremble so to-day,
Bowed with such blessings that I cannot pray
By speech a mother prays, dear Lord, alway
‘In some far fibre of her trembling mind!
I’ll up I thought I heard a bugle bind
Its silver with the silver of the wind. ‘