Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY WIFE AND CHILD, by HENRY R. JACKSON

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MY WIFE AND CHILD, by                
First Line: The tattoo beats - the lights are gone
Last Line: O god, protect my wife and child!
Subject(s): Consolation; United States - Mexican War (1846-1848)

The tattoo beats, -- the lights are gone,
The camp around in slumber lies,
The night with solemn pace moves on,
The shadows thicken o'er the skies;
But sleep my weary eyes hath flown,
And sad, uneasy thoughts arise.
I think of thee, O darling one,
Whose love my early life hath blest --
Of thee and him -- our baby son --
Who slumbers on thy gentle breast.
God of the tender, frail, and lone,
O, guard the tender sleeper's rest!
And hover gently, hover near
To her whose watchful eye is wet, --
To mother, wife, -- the doubly dear,
In whose young heart have freshly met
Two streams of love so deep and clear,
And cheer her drooping spirits yet.
Now, while she kneels before thy throne,
O, teach her, Ruler of the skies,
That while by the behest alone
Earth's mightiest powers fall and rise,
No tear is wept to thee unknown,
No hair is lost, no sparrow dies!
That thou canst stay the ruthless hands
Of dark disease, and sooth its pain;
That only by thy stern commands
The battle's lost, the soldier's slain;
That from the distant sea or land
Thou bring'st the wanderer home again.
And when upon her pillow lone
Her tear-wet cheek is sadly pressed,
May happier visions beam upon
The brightened current of her breast,
No frowning look or angry tone
Disturb the Sabbath of her rest!
Whatever fate these forms may show,
Loved with a passion almost wild,
By day, by night, in joy or woe,
By fears oppressed, or hopes beguiled,
From every danger, every foe,
O God, protect my wife and child!

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