By the firelight sat the mother;
Tears were in her heart,
Thinking of the swift time coming
When they two must part.
Soon the shadow fell between them--
Soon the years flew by;
He had left his little mother--
Left her, perhaps to die.
All the laughter gone forever,
All the sunshine fled;
Only little mother praying
By his empty bed.
Then there came a dreadful battle,
And upon the plain
Crept the little mother, seeking
Some one 'mid the slain;
But she never found her darling
In the white moon gleam,
For the little cannon firing
Woke her from her dream,
All a dream! He stood beside her,
Singing out with glee,
"When I'm big I'll be a soldier--
That's what I will be!"