Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
205. Home Wounded
WHEEL me down by the meadow, 
  Where no step but thine will pass; 
Anchor me where the shadow 
  Skims o'er the billowy grass: 
Where the arbutus straggles over         5
  The slope of the spreading hill, 
And the souls of hidden violets 
  Their scented airs distil. 
Saint, with your sweet composure, 
  Lean your cool cheek 'gainst my hair;  10
My soul 's in the fierce exposure 
  Of fields where the dying are; 
And even your hand can never 
  Quiet this fever and pain, 
Or soften the restless longing  15
  To share in the contest again. 
O, to be here so idle! 
  To sit like a clod in this chair, 
With hands that ache for the bridle, 
  With heart away in the war!  20
Instead of the long roll beating 
  To hear but the tinkle of vines, 
For the rush and whirl of the conflict 
  Only the wail of the pines. 
Still midst the sounds of summer,  25
  Which freight the soft June air 
With tender slumberous murmur, 
  My soul hears the trumpet's blare. 
What have I laid on the altar? 
  Only a few drops of blood!  30
Small is the gift to offer 
  For honor, freedom, God. 
While by your side I dally, 
  Still waits the slave in his chain. 
Up, my faint pulse must rally  35
  Once more 'mid the leaden rain. 
With kisses on lips, eyes and forehead, 
  Sign me the sign of the Cross. 
If my heart throb its last for our banner, 
  Greater the gain than the loss.  40
If we gain—there 'll be time for our wooing, 
  In paths where the wild roses nod; 
If we lose—I 'll wait for you, dearest, 
  'Neath the palms by the mount of our God. 

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