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Gon to the War

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

My Charlie has gone to the war,
  My Charlie so brave and tall;
He left his plough in the furrow,
  And flew at his country’s call.
May God in safety keep him,–
  My precious boy–my all!

My heart is pining to see him;
  I miss him every day;
My heart is weary with waiting,
  And sick of the long delay,–
But I know his country needs him,
  And I could not bid him stay.

I remember how his face flushed,
  And how his color came,
When the flash from the guns of Sumter
  Lit the whole land with flame,
And darkened our country’s banner
  With the crimson hue of shame.

“Mother,” he said, then faltered,–
  I felt his mute appeal;
I paused– if you are a mother,
  You know what mothers feel,
When called to yield their dear ones
  To the cruel bullet and steel.

My heart stood still for a moment,
  Struck with a mighty woe;
A faint as of death came o’er me,
  I am a mother, you know,
But I sternly checked my weakness,
  And firmly bade him “Go.”

Wherever the fight is fiercest
  I know that my boy will be;
Wherever the need is sorest
  Of the stout arms of the free.
May he prove as true to his country
  As he has been true to me.

My home is lonely without him,
  My hearth bereft of joy,
The thought of him who has left me
  My constant sad employ;
But God has been good to the mother,–
  She shall not blush for her boy.

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