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Poem by Thomas Campbell
The Soldier’s Dream
OUR bugles sang truce—for the night-cloud had lowered, And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky; And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered, The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die. When reposing that night on my pallet of straw, By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain, At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw, And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again. Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array, Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track: ’Twas Autumn,—and sunshine arose on the way To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back. I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft In life’s morning march, when my bosom was young; I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft, And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung. Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore From my home and my weeping friends never to part; My little ones kissed me a thousand times o’er, And my wife sobbed aloud in her fullness of heart. “Stay, stay with us,—rest; thou art weary and worn!” And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay:— But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn, And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.
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