Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Mary Will Smile
By William Cliffton (1772–1799)
THE MORN was fresh, and pure the gale,
  When Mary, from her cot a rover,
Pluck’d many a wild rose of the vale
  To bind the temples of her lover.
As near his little farm she stray’d,        5
  Where birds of love were ever pairing,
She saw her William in the shade,
  The arms of ruthless war preparing.
“Though now,” he cried, “I seek the hostile plain,
Mary shall smile, and all be fair again.”        10
She seized his hand, and “Ah!” she cried,
  “Wilt thou to camps and war a stranger
Desert thy Mary’s faithful side,
  And bare thy life to every danger?
Yet go, brave youth! to arms away!        15
  My maiden hands for fight shall dress thee,
And when the drum beats far away,
  I ’ll drop a silent tear and bless thee.
Return’d with honor, from the hostile plain,
Mary will smile, and all be fair again.        20
The bugles through the forest wind,
  The woodland soldiers call to battle,
Be some protecting angel kind,
  And guard thy life when cannons rattle!”
She sung, and as the rose appears        25
  In sunshine, when the storm is over,
A smile beam’d sweetly through her tears,
  The blush of promise to her lover.
Return’d in triumph from the hostile plain,
All shall be fair, and Mary smile again.        30

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