THE SOLDIER'S LETTER.
By Thomas C. Carter.
Tune-"Old Oaken Bucket."
The night shadows fell on the plains of Wyoming,
Beyond the blue mountains the moon could be Been;
The splendor of daylight had waned in the gloaming,
And the whispering pines reflected her sheen.
Some white army tents looked lonesome and eerie,
Where a camp had been pitched by a stream's shallow trace,
And a sentry in blue, whose footsteps were weary,
Trod his far away beat with a slow, steady pace.
But the night gloom was broken by one friendly token,
A letter from home which he held in his hand,
And he thought of the sender, whose message so tender
Had cheered his lone life in that desolate land.
The camp fires smoldered and chill grew the air
That stirred the green cactus above the brown plain;
The slinking coyotes crept out from their lair,
And harshly they howled a mournful refrain.
But the soldier scarce heard it, his face wore a smile,
The Chorus disturbed not his listening ear;
While in fancy he traveled o'er many a mile,
To the home of his youth and his kindred so dear.- Cho.
He saw an old orchard where wild bees were humming,
A low humble cottage with wide open door,
Where his parents and sisters awaited his coming,
When the wearisome years of his exile were o'er.
He paused in his vigil and leaned on his rifle,
His sadness was lightened by gleamings of joy,
For his mother had written that nothing could stifle
The love that she felt for her wandering boy.-Chorus.
It lightened the dangers that often enthralled him,
The long weary march on the Indian's path,
When the pitiless mandate of duty had called him
To face in the winter the cold blizzard's wrath.
But fortune was kind to the venturesome rover.
And he often recalled, with a smile and a tear,
As he rested at home, with his wanderings over,
The letter that came with its message of cheer.-Chorus.