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SONGS OF WAR AND PEACE           159
Besides, my sister and my wife Were dear to me as light and life,
And cried, when I insisted* That every healthy man should go To help his country, then, and so,
One day I went and 'listed.
For three long years, in march and fight, I did my share, as nearly right
As God gave me to know it; And if I hankered overmuch For home and loved ones, peace and such,
I tried hard not to show it.
I didn't know—for I was young— How cruelly their souls were wrung,
In all that weary waiting— The pain of doubt, the tears and dread— And how their hearts from anguish bled,
In prayers for war's abating.
But lately I have learned to know The trials and the weight of woe
That come to them who love us, When we are soldiers, gone afar, The playthings of the fiend of war,
By all that's good above us.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III