The Dying Soldier

My noble commander, thank God you have come,
You know the dear ones who are waiting at home;
And oh! It was dreadful to die here alone,
No hand on my brow and my comrades all gone.

I thought I would die many hours ago,
And those who are waiting me never could know,
That here with the faith of its happiest years,
My soul has not wandered one moment from theirs.

The dead are around, but my soul was away,
'Mid the roses that bloom round my cottage to day;
I thought that I sat where the jasmines twine,
And gathered the delicate buds from the vine.

And there like a bird that has folded its wings,
At home 'mid the smiles of all beautiful things,
With sweet words of welcome, kisses of love,
Was one, I will miss, in yon heaven above.

By the light that I saw in her radiant brow,
She watches and waits there, and prays for me now;
My Captain, bend low, for this poor wounded side,
Is drawing my heart of its last crimson tide.

Some day when you leave this dark place and go free,
You will see a fair girl, she will question of me,
She has kissed this bright curl as it lay on my head,
When it goes back alone, she will know I am dead,
And tell her the soul that on earth was her own,
Is waiting and watching in heaven alone.

My mother! God help her! her grief will be wild,
When she hears the mad soldiers have murdered her child;
But tell her 'twill be one sweet chime on my knell
That the "Flag of my Country" now waves where I fell.

It is well –it is well – thus to die in my youth,
A martyr to freedom, to justice and truth!
Farewell to earth's hope, precious dreams of my heart,
My life's going out, but my love shall depart
With me on the wings that my soul has unfurled,
Going up –soft, sweet – to yon beautiful world.