My sabre swinging on the bough
Gleams in the watch-fire's fitful glow,
While fiercely drives the blinding snow
Aslant upon my saddened brow.
Those cherished faces all are gone!
Asleep within the quiet graves
Where lies the snow in drifting waves,—
And I am sitting here alone.
There's not a comrade here to-night
But knows that loved ones far away
On bended knees this night will pray:
‘God bring our darling from the fight.’
But there are none to wish me back,
For me no yearning prayers arise.
The lips are mute and closed the eyes-
My home is in the bivouac.
Dreaming in the trenches
I picture her there in the quaint old room,
Where the fading fire-light starts and falls,
Alone in the twilight's tender gloom
With the shadows that dance on the dim-lit walls.
Alone, while those faces look silently down
From their antique frames in a grim repose—
Slight scholarly Ralph in his Oxford gown,
And stanch Sir Alan, who died for Montrose.
There are gallants gay in crimson and gold,
There are smiling beauties with powdered hair,
But she sits there, fairer a thousand-fold,
Leaning dreamily back in her low arm-chair.