180. songs of the rebels.
Pensacola — to my son.
by M. S.Beautiful the land may be,
Its groves of palm, its laurel trees;
And o'er the smiling, murm'ring sea,
Soft may blow the Southern breeze--
And land, and sea, and balmy air,
May make a home of beauty there.
And bright beneath Floridian sky,
The world to thy young fancy seems:
I see the light that fills thine eye;
I know what spirit rules thy dreams;
But flower-gemmed shore, and rippling sea,
Are darker than the grave to me.
For storms are lowering in that sky,
And sad may be that fair land's doom;
Full soon, perhaps, the battle-cry
May wake the cannon's fearful boom,
And shot and shell from o'er the waves,
May plough the rose's bed for graves.
And we, whose dear ones cluster there,
We mothers, who have let them go--
Our all, perhaps — how shall we bear
That which another week may show?
The love which made our lives all gone,
Our hearts left desolate and lone!
Country!--what to me that name,
Should I in vain demand my son?
Glory!--what a nation's fame?
Home!--home without thee, I have none.
Ah, stay — this Southern land not mine?
The land that e'en in death is thine!
A country's laurel wreath for thee,
A hero's grave--my own! my own!
And neither land nor home for me,
Because a mother's hope is gone?
Traitor I am! God's laws command,
That, next to Heaven, our native land!
And I will not retract — ah, no!--
What, in my pride of home, I said,
That “I would give my son to go
Where'er our hero Ruler led!”
The mother's heart may burst, but still
Make it, O God, to know Thy will!
New Orleans, May 1, 1861.