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65. waiting.

When he comes back, all glorious,
     With the love-light in his eye,
From the battle-field victorious,
     Who'll be happier then than I?
See, the big arm-chair is waiting,
     Vacant still in its old place--
Time, press quickly on the hours
     Till I see his pleasant face!

He was too young, they told me,
     To march against the foe;
Yet when his country needed aid,
     His mother bade him go!
'Twere meet slaves should tremble
     Whom tyrants hold in thrall;
But my boy was a freeman born,
     He went at freedom's call.

[57] My small weak hand would waver
     The shortest sword to bear;
But he stands steady in the ranks,
     And holds his musket there.
My faint heart would falter
     The battle-ground to see;
But his is strong in freedom's might,
     He fights for her and me.

I am watching and waiting,
     As mothers watch and wait,
Whose sons are in the army now,
     And it is growing late.
My life's past its morning,
     It's near sunset in the sky--
Oh! I long once more to clasp him
     In my arms before I die.

Yet farther off the army goes--
     He will return no more,
Till our glorious flag is free again
     To float o'er sea and shore.
Where'er it waved in days gone by,
     Its folds again shall rest,
From the depths of the lowest valleys,
     To the highest mountain crest.

And he, my boy, my darling,
     The pride of my old heart!
Where'er his place may be, I know
     He will fulfil his part.
Not until the war is over
     Shall we meet in fond embrace.
Time, press swiftly on the hours,
     Till I see his pleasant face!

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