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Our Volunteer.

by Mary Clemmer Ames,
We gather round the twilight hearth,
Beneath the evening's pallid flame;
And softening every sound of mirth,
We murmur the beloved name.

We try to still the voice of care,
And cheerily say: “One year to-day
The dulcet drum and bugle blare
Allured our darling far away.”

And stifling back the crowding tear,
We murmur, while our prayers ascend:
“Our Father's saved the boy a year--
He'll surely save him to the end.”

His grand dog smooths sad, drooping ears
Along my hand, in mute regret;
His wistful eyes half read my fears--
“Old Boy, you miss your master yet!”

The ringing voice, the eye of fire,
The lithe young form, the step of pride,
That once made all your heart's desire,
Old pet, they're sundered from you wide.

Your gay bark in the hunt is hushed--
A dearer meaning now you take,
As every thing his hand has touched
Is cherished sacred for his sake.

Ah! does he think of home to-night,
And how we sit of him--
Repeat his words with fond delight,
With voices low and eyelids dim?

We wonder when, with faces white,
Must be the next terrific fray;
And if the march began last night,
And where our army is to-day?

We listen to a dear young voice
Sing words of love to music wed;
So mournful, we may not rejoice--
He loved that song in summers fled.

It says: “Oh! take me home to die!”
What tender pains its rhythms yield;
Not thus, not thus, O Lord! we cry,
Send back our boy from war's red field!

Oh! leave us not, lest we repine,
If this the “glory” thou shalt mete
To die for truth makes death divine.
To die for country, it is sweet!

We love thee ‘neath the heavy rod;
We trust thee in the nation's night;
Our only help and hope is, God,
That thou at last will crown the right.

The paradise of spring-time hours
He loved. In all her azure space,
‘Mid all the summer pomp of flowers,
We'll yearn in vain to see his face.

In wasting march, in bloody fight,
All, in love, yet half in fear,
We pray from morning until night,
That God will save Our Volunteer.

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