Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FURLOUGH, by JOHN BANISTER TABB

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FURLOUGH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Home!' he said; and westward turning
Last Line: O'er the dead.
Alternate Author Name(s): Father Tabb

"Home!" he said; and westward turning
Looked upon the setting sun.
"Heed thee, child!" a sentry muttered,
"Safety on the ramparts none."
"Naught I fear," the boy made answer,
"Battle shock nor random gun;
Homeward all my heart advances;
Victory's won!"

In his eyes the light of morning
Met the slow-declining day,
Where the bow of peace expanding,
Lit with hope's celestial ray --
Born of sunshine, cloud-engendered,
Sorrow washed in tears away --
"Strife to holy calm surrenders,"
Seemed to say.

Fair he stood, as in a vision;
When, with sudden cry of dread,
Forward sprang each sturdy comrade
To support the fallen head --
Swift a thirsty flash, unerring,
To the font of life had sped!
Calm he lay. We bent above him,
"Home he goeth," some one said.
With the dew our tears were falling
O'er the dead.

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