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THE GOOD PART THAT SHALL NOT BE
She dwells by Great Kenhawa's side,
Long since beyond the Southern Sea
35 That shines upon her face.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
IN WAR TIME.
The flags of war like storm-birds fly,
And, calm and patient, Nature keeps
And still she walks in golden hours
She meets with smiles our bitter grief,
She knows the seed lies safe below
She sees with clearer eye than ours
John George Whittier.
COME UP FROM THE FIELDS, FATHER. Come
up from the fields, father; here's a letter from our Pete, And come to the front door, mother; here's a letter from thy
dear son. Lo, 'tis autumn; Lo where the fields, deeper green, yellower and redder,
Cool and sweeten Ohio's villages, with leaves fluttering in the moderate wind;
5 Where apples ripe in the orchards hang, and grapes on the
trellised vines (Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines? Smell you the buckwheat, where the bees were lately buzzing?) Above all, lo! the sky, so calm, so transparent after the rain
and with wondrous clouds; Below too all calm, all vital and beautiful—and the farm
Down in the fields all prospers well ;
call; And come to the entry, mother—to the front door come, right
away. Fast as she can she hurries—something ominous-her steps
trembling; She does not tarry to smooth her white hair, nor adjust her сар.
15 Open the envelope quickly ; Oh this is not our son's writing, yet his name is signed. Oh a strange hand writes for our dear son-oh stricken
mother's soul ! All swims before her eyes-flashes with black-she catches
the main words only; Sentences broken-gunshot wound in the breast-cavalry
skirmish, taken to hospital, At present low, but will soon be better. Ah! now the single figure to me Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio, with all its cities and
farms, Sickly white in the face and dull in the head, very faint, By the jamb of a door leans.
Grieve not so, dear mother (the just grown daughter speaks
through her sobs; The little sisters huddle around, speechless and dismayed). See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will soon be better. Alas, poor boy, he will never be better (nor, may be, needs to
be better, that brave and simple soul). While they stand at home at the door he is dead already, 30 The only son is dead. But the mother needs to be better; She, with thin form, presently drest in black; By day her meals untouched--then at night fitfully sleeping,
often waking, In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one deep longing,
35 Oh, that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent from life,
escape and withdraw
Through the night, through the night,
5 Staring out on the gale
Through the night!
Richard Henry Stoddard.