Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAIL HAS COME, by MARY TUCKER LAMBERT

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THE MAIL HAS COME, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now the bitter pangs of hope deferred
Last Line: Each kind letter thence is thrice welcome to me.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tucker, Mary Eliza Perine
Subject(s): American Civil War; Postal Service; United States - History; Postmen; Post Office; Mail; Mailmen

NOW the bitter pangs of hope deferred
O'er us no longer reign,
But the very depths of our hearts are stirred
With a still more poignant pain;
And we sadly think of the lapse of years,
And our eyes grow dim with the unshed tears.

Where are the noble, the good, the brave,
The father, husband, son?
Can we bless the hand that the sorrow gave,
And say, "Thy will be done?
Ah! we sadly weep o'er their honored graves --
But we glory to think, that they died not slaves.

Yes, we scorn to yield to a tyrant's power:
For oppression we despise;
But ah, in the twilight's quiet hour,
In bereaved hearts will arise
Fond thoughts of our kindred far away;
And again Hope emits her bright diamond-like ray.

Now the mail has come; in my trembling hand
Many missives of love I hold;
Northern brothers, such love is a stronger band
Than our cotton, our slaves, your gold.
Now I open them, one by one, in dread
To hear from the living, and the dead.

Ah! Ava Maria, mother mild,
I thank thee for thy care;
My father will see again his child,
Thou hast hearkened to my prayer.
But his form is bent, and the hand of time
Has silvered his locks with its war and crime.

Why with bitter will mingle the sweets of earth?
Why with hope will come despair?
Why cherish sweet flowers, when at their birth,
We know that their beauties rare,
At the touch of stern winter's chilling blast,
Will vanish forever, like dreams of the past?

My sister, my darling, has passed away --
She is not dead, but sleeping;
Again we will meet, in a short earthly day,
Then why are we still weeping!
We should gladly rejoice that the pride of our life
Was transplanted above all this war, sin, and strife.

All send kindest greeting from over the sea --
Not a word that can wound the full heart;
Full of deep tender feeling and sympathy,
Their letters but cheer impart:
Then shall I for this, but a national pride,
Cast the friends of my childhood's days aside?

No, I love the fair South, and my heart would bound
In its fullness of ecstacy,
Could but the glad cry from each hill resound --
We are free! we are free! we are free!
Yet again I send greeting far over the sea,
Each kind letter thence is thrice welcome to me.

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