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The following lines

Were found in a bundle of Socks, sent by a “Lively old lady,” in Amherst, N. H., to the U. S. Hospital, corner of Broad and Cherry streets, Philadelphia.>

By the fireside, cosily seated,
With spectacles riding her nose,
The lively old lady is knitting
A wonderful pair of hose.
She pities the shivering soldier,
Who is out in the pelting storm;
And busily plies her needles,
To keep him hearty and warm.

Her eyes are reading the embers,
But her heart is off to the war,
Flor she knows what those brave fellows
Are gallantly fighting for.
Her fingers as well as her fancy
Are cheering them on their way,
Who, under the good old banner,
Are saving their Country to-day.

She ponders, how in her childhood,
Her grandmother used to tell--
The story of barefoot soldiers,
Who fought so long and well.
And the men of the Revolution
Are nearer to her than us;
And that perhaps is the reason
Why she is toiling thus.

She cannot shoulder a musket,
Nor ride with cavalry crew,
But nevertheless she is ready
To work for the boys who do.
And yet in “official despatches,”
That come from the army or fleet,
Her feats may have never a notice,
Though ever so mighty the feet!

[68] So prithee, proud owner of muscle,
Or purse-proud owner of stocks,
Don't sneer at the labors of woman,
Or smile at her bundle of socks.
Her heart may be larger and braver
Than his who is tallest of all,
The work of her hands as important
As cash that buys powder and ball.

And thus while her quiet performance
Is being recorded in rhyme,
The tools in her tremulous fingers
Are running a race with Time.
Strange that four needles can form
A perfect triangular bound;
And equally strange that their antics
Result in perfecting “the round.”

And now, while beginning “to narrow,”
She thinks of the Maryland mud,
And wonders if ever the stocking
Will wade to the ankle in blood.
And now she is “shaping the heelt”
And now she ready is “to bind,”
And hopes if the soldier is wounded,
It never will be from behind.

And now she is “raising the instep,”
Now “narrowing off at the toe,”
And prays that this end of the worsted
May ever be turned to the foe.
She “gathers” the last of the stitches,
As if a new laurel were won,
And placing the ball in the basket,
Announces the stocking as “done.”

Ye men who are fighting our battles,
Away from the comforts of life,
Who thoughtfully muse by your camp-fires,
On sweetheart, or sister, or wife;
Just think of their elders a little,
And pray for the grandmothers too,
Who, patiently sitting in corners,
Are knitting the stockings for you.

S. E. B.

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Amherst, N. H. (New Hampshire, United States) (1)

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