THE LITTLE HOMES
We have heard the cheering, brothers, We have heard the martial peal; We have seen the soldiers marching And the glint of sun and steel. We have heard the songs, the shouting; But, while forth the soldier roams, Who has heard the weeping, brothers, In the Little Homes? We have seen the gay processions And the careless, laughing crowds.; We have seen the banners waving Out against the peaceful clouds; Yet, while colors proudly flutter Over noble spires and domes, Who has seen the mourning, brothers, In the Little Homes? From the Little Homes that nestle Where the smiling fields sweep wide, From the Little Homes that huddle In the city, side by side, They have called the eager fighters -- Men who went with smiles and cheers; Pride of wives and pride of mothers, Choking back the tears! Women of the little homesteads, Women of the city slums, They are waiting, ever waiting; And the sound of muffled drums In some stricken Home is echoed, Where grey Grief is guest to-day. And to-morrow? Nay, the others Still must wait -- and pray. What the Little Homes shall suffer, What the Little Homes shall pay Must be more than sturdy fighters, More than women's grief to-day. In the years that follow after, Be our battles won or lost, In the Little Homes, my brothers, They shall pay the cost. They shall pay the cost of glory, They shall pay the price of peace, Years and many long years after All the sounds of battle cease. When the sword is sheathed -- or broken -- When the battle flag is furled, Still the Little Homes must suffer Over all the World. Have you seen the old grey mothers Smiling to the ringing cheers? Have you seen the young wives striving Bravely to hold back the tears? Have you seen the young girl marching By her soldier-lover's side? Have you, seen our country's women All aglow with pride? Then, shall we think shame, my brothers, To give thanks upon our knees That the land we love should hold them -- Wives and mothers such as these? Women who still hide their sorrow As their soldiers march away, Turning brave and steadfast faces To the light of day? Oh, the Little Homes are Cheerful -- Little Homes that know no pride But the pride of sacrificing Loved ones to the battle tide! They are many, many brothers, And their sacrifice is great. Shrines are they and sacred places, Where the women wait. Aye, the Little Homes are holy At the closing of the day, When young wives must face their sorrow, When grey mothers kneel to pray, Facing, all alone, dread visions Of the land the soldier roams, Then God heed the sobbing, brothers, In the Little Homes.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06|