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Poetic Reflections


The warm sunlight of a July morn
    Streamed in at the cottage door,
And brightened the face of the tall house clock
    And checkered the snowy floor;
And the child at play at his mothers feet,
    Clutched with his dimpled hand
The golden rays as they crossed his path
    In many a braided strand.

But the mother heeded not the glee,
    That rang in her baby's voice;
Nor the glowing beams of the summer sun,
    Bidding her heart rejoice,
For her eyes were fixed on that sadd'ning list
    Of wounded, lost and slain;
And she only saw the fearful words,
    "Missing, Lawrence Mayne".

"Missing!" She might not ever know
    If he moaned on the bloody plains;
Or whether he pined in a Southern cell,
    Or slept with the valiant slain;
As she caught her breast the wondering boy,
    Kissing him oft and again.
For the look that shone in his deep dark eyes.
    Was the look of Lawrence Mayne.

And the sweet child strove with fond caress
    And gleeful tone to chase
The look of wild despairing woe,
    From her pallid stricken face.
Let her hold him close to her widowed heart,
    For never, never, again,
Will she welcome back to her lowly home,
    The trooper Lawrence Mayne.

She can never know that far away,
    Where a brook winds 'neath a hill,
With a saber gash on his broad low brow,
    He is lying white and still,
His clenched hands grasps his broken blade,
His good steed at his side;
And near, two foeman's lifeless forms
    Tell how the soldier died.

The day will dawn when for her child
    She will wear a smile again;
And time with soothing hand will lift
    From her heart, the weight of pain.
But ever, and ever, while life shall last,
    She will hear but this refrain,
It will haunt her dreams, and her waking hours
    "Missing", Lawrence Mayne"

August, 1863

Hemenway's Vermont Historical Gazetteer, 1868, i:732-33.

Submitted By: Deanna French.