Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Soldier's Dream by Thomas Campbell

Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lower'd,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpower'd,
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 battlefield's dreadful array
Far, far I had roam'd 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 kiss'd me a thousand times o'er,
And my wife sobb'd 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 return'd with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

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