Our bugles sang truce—for the night-cloud had lowered,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring faggot 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 battle-field’s dreadful array,
Far, far I had roamed 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 kissed me a thousand times o’er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart,
Stay, stay with us,—rest, thou art weary and worn;
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;—
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.