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And when the conflict's over, come to this home so dear,
And I will wait to welcome and bless your coming here.”
The father's arms a moment were folded round his child,
Whose fair and gentle presence his weary hours beguiled,
And mingled tears and kisses were rained upon her cheek,
While William looked the parting his lips refused to speak.
The summer days went gliding in golden circles by,
And Lee's impetuous army to Gettysburgh drew nigh;
The fierce and bloody conflict swept through that region fair,
Yet still heroic Jennie dwelt in the cottage there.
And while her heart was aching, lest those she loved were dead,
Her plump and rosy fingers moulded the soldiers bread.
“Fly! fly! heroic maiden,” a Union soldier said,
“For through this vale there sweepeth a double storm of lead.”
Then spoke the fearless Jennie: “I fear not for my life,
My father and one other are in that deadly strife:
I may not fight beside them, but ne'er shall it be said,
While they were battling for me, I feared to bake their bread.”
Loud and more loud thundered the crimson tide of war,
And thick and fast the bullets swept through the summer air,
And one (some fury sped it) pierced Jennie's faithful breast,
And laid its throbbing pulses for evermore at rest.
. . . . . . . . The bloody day was over, and thousands slept there dead,
Who on that summer morning swept by with martial tread;
Among them Jennie's father in death's embraces lay,
But William passed unwounded through all that fear. ful day:
And so with hurried footsteps he sought the cottage. door,
But oh! no Jennie met him with welcome, as of yore.
He crossed the humble threshold, then paused in horror there:
There lay his heart's best treasure-so cold, so still, so fair!
“O God!” he cried in anguish, “what fiend hath done this deed?
Would I had died in battle, ere I had seen her bleed:
Alas, alas, my darling! no words of welcome come,
For cold in death sweet Jenny awaits for me at home.
For this, (oh I hear me, heaven,) my eye shall never fail,
My hand be true and steady to guide the leaden hail:
A force more strong than powder, each deadly ball shall urge--
The memory of the maiden who died at Gettysburgh. “
And now, all bravely battling for freedom and for life,
Whene'er the bugle soundeth to call him to the strife,
He remembers that fair maiden, all cold and bloodylaid,
And strikes with dread precision, as he thinks of Jennie Wade.
E. S. T. home on Thb Hill, Jan. 28.
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