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Go, my boy, where duty calls you.

an answer to “mother, can I go?”
Go, my boy, and Heaven bless you! I have read each precious line
Of your heart's responsive throbbings to a Higher Call than mine.
God hath spoken-you have heard Him — and though tears these eyes bedim,
Your affection for your mother shall not mar your love for Him.
Could I bid you stay from fondness, when the everruling Hand
Marks your path to duty clearly for the safety of your land?
No! 'tis yours to be a patriot, and 'tis mine to prove as true;
Go, my boy, where duty calls you, and my heart shall follow you!

Go in faith, and feel protection in a Power Supreme, Divine;
Should a bullet pierce your body it will also enter mine.
Do I think of this in sorrow? Does my love sad fears renew?
Do I tremble at the prospect? No, my son, no more than you.
Dear to me is every pathway where your precious feet have trod;
But I give you fondly, freely, to my country and my God.
You and I shall never falter in the work we have to do;
Go, my boy, where duty calls you, and my heart shall follow you!

I shall pray for you — how often — with the waking hour of morn,
Through the labors of my household, and when night is coming on.
If a mother's prayers can keep you, ‘mid the dangers you incur,
God will surely bring you back again to happiness and her.
I will never doubt the goodness that has kept you until now,
That has kept the evil from your heart, the shadow from your brow;
And I know that it shall keep you in the path you must pursue;
Go, my boy, where duty calls you, and my heart shall follow you!

If my boy were less a hero, less the man in thought and deed,
I had less to give my country in her trying hour of need;
And I feel a pride in knowing that to serve this cause divine,
From the hearthstone goes no braver heart than that which goes from mine.
I have loved you from the hour that my lips first pressed your brow,
Ever tenderly, but never quite as tenderly as now.
All I have is His who gave it, whatsoe'er He bids me do;
Go, my boy, where duty calls you, and my heart shall follow you! [6]
I shall miss you through the spring-time, when the orchard is in bloom,
When the smiling face of nature bathes its beauty in perfume;
When the birds are sweetly singing by the door and on the wing,
I shall think of you who always loved to pause and hear them sing.
Long will seem the waning hours through the drowsy summer day,
With my boy exposed to dangers on a soil so far away.
But my spirit shall not murmur, though a tear bedim my view;
Go, my boy, where duty calls you, and my heart shall follow you!

You will come and see your mother, come and kiss her, as you say,
From her lips receive the blessing that shall cheer you on your way;
From her fond embrace go forward to resist your country's foe,
With the comforting assurance that your mother bade you go.
Heaven protect, and bless, and keep you; holy angels guard your way,
Keep your spirit from temptation, and your feet from going astray.
To your mother ever faithful, to your country ever true,
Go, my boy, where duty calls you, and my heart shall follow you!

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