He has gone, and I have sent him! Poem

He has gone, and I have sent him!
Think you I would bid him stay,
husband wife sitting
Leaving, craven-like, to others
All the burden of the day?
All the burden? nay, the triumph!
Is is hard to understand
All the joy that thrills the hero
Battling for his native land?

He has gone, and I have sent him!
Could I keep him at my side
While the brave old ship that bears us
Plunges in the perilous tide?
Nay, I blush but at the question,
What am I, that I should chill
All his brave and generous promptings
Captive to a woman’s will?

He has gone, and I have sent him!
I have buckled on his sword,
I have bidden him strike for Freedom,
For his country, for the Lord!
As I marked his lofty bearing,
And the flush upon his cheek,
I have caught my heart rebelling
That my woman’s arm is weak.

He has gone, and I have sent him!
Not without a thought of pain,
For I know the war’s dread chances,
And we may not meet again.
Life itself is but a lending,
He that gave perchance may take;
If it be so, I will bear it
Meekly for my country’s sake.

He has gone, and I have sent him!
This henceforth be my pride,
I have given my cherished darling
Freely to the righteous side.
I, with all a mother’s weakness,
Hold him now without a flaw;
Yet when he returns I’ll hail him
Twice as noble as before.

Harper

Source: Harper’s Weekly, November 1, 1862 [page 696]. Used by permission. This issue can be purchased as a re-print.

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