(written for the Richmond Dispatch.)
A young Southern soldier, at a private hospital evidently expressed surprise at the great interest which the ladies manifested for the soldiers, and was fored that so much pains should be taken to make them comfortable.
To him and his comrades the following explanation is offered:)
the reason why.
‘ Humanity, in every age.
In every clime and land.
Has stirred the depths of woman's soul
And moved her ready hand
Untutored though her mind may be,
Uncouth and wild her form.
There never beat a woman's heart
Which pity could not warm.
The dangers of the soldier's lot,
His coarse and scanty fare,
The hardships which he must endure,
She may not, cannot share;
But promptly move her willing feet,
His suffering to relieve.
And swiftly ply her busy hands.
Comfort and aid to give.
Though at the rostrum and the desk
Her voice must silent be,
By nature tuned to softer notes
Of household melody;
Yet patriotism, pure and deep,
Within her soul may be,
Though never on her lips has hung
Her country's destiny;
And though no teacher set to lead
Blind creatures unto light.
Her conscience knows instinctively.
And bows before the right.
Though powerless her many arm
Upon the tented field;
Too frail and weak the ponderous lance
And cumbrous sword to wield;
Yet other weapons she can use,
Though not the sword and glaive
With smiles she makes the coward blush--
With smiles she course the brave.
The South's fair daughters see in you
Bold champions for the right,
Defenders of the sunny land
Where first they saw the light;
The herces whose brave deeds shall make
Their country's history;
The martyrs whose baptismal blood
Must set their country free;
Then, is in strange such warriors have
Their unremitting cares.
Their smiles, their care, their hopes, their fears,
Their labors and their prayers?
Virginia mothers, sisters, wives,
With love and pity moved,
Behold in you comrades in arms
Of their own best beloved.
And think with reigning horror that
Perc the same bright steel
May taste the heart's best blood of both,
Upon the same rad field;
While in each buoyant youth we see
Some heart sick mother's p e,
And in the stalwart bearded man,
The stay of wife or bride.
Exiled by duty from your homes,
Deprived of their fond cares,
Our little kindnesses are given
In answer to their prayers;
Then, for the sake of your loved ones,
Our simple offerings take,
Which, for the sake of our beloved,
So cheerfully we make.
’ Hanover Co., Va., Oct. 15, 1861.