She sang of many a noble deed,
And marked with joy their eager heed.
And most she marked their kindling eyes,
When telling of the victories
That made the Stars and Stripes a name,
Their country rich in honest fame.
It was a noble land, she said--
Its poorest children lacked not bread;
It was so broad, so rich, so free,
They sang its praise beyond the sea.
And thousands sought its kindly shore,
And none were poor and friendless more;
All blessed the name of Washington,
And loved the Union, every one.
She made them feel that they were part
Of the great nation's living heart--
So they grew up, true patriot boys,
And knew not all their mother's joys.
Sad was the hour when murmurs loud
From a great black advancing cloud
Made millions feel the coming breath
Of maddened whirlwinds, full of death!
She prayed the skies might soon be bright,
And made her sons prepare for fight;
Brave youths!--their zeal proved clearly then,
In such an hour youths can be men!
By day she went from door to door--
Men caught her soul, unfelt before;
By night she prayed, and planned, and dreamed,
Till morn's red light war's lightning seemed.
The cry went forth; forth stepped her sons,
In martial blaze of gleaming guns;
Still striding on to perils dire,
They turned to catch her glance of fire.
No fears, no fond regrets she knew,
But proudly watched them fade from view;
“Lord, keep them so!” she said, and turned
To where her lonely hearth-fire burned.