Smith, Effie Waller
|SONGS OF THE MONTHS.|
|"HER HOPES LIE BURIED WITH HER -- HERO DEAD."|
"Her hopes lie buried with her hero dead."
These were the words which a speaker said
Yesterday, as he gazed o'er the graves
Which held the dust of our hero braves.
He was speaking of her, the youthful maid,
While those newly-made mounds he surveyed;
She it was whose earthly hopes had fled;
Lost and buried with her hero dead.
She was thinking when he'd be her own,
Would be hers and only hers alone,
When their lives would be blended in one:
Ah! blooming hopes which fate has undone!
For when the call for volunteers went
Over the land, by the president sent,
To the island of Cuba to go,
And there Spanish misrule overthrow;
Her lover was one who volunteered.
Thought not of the awful fever; feared
He not the guns of the angry foe;
He was a patriot, a true hero.
Well, he went, and after he was gone,
Still she bravely, but vainly, hoped on:
She looked for him home one day; instead
Came the sad, sad news that he was dead.
How did he die? "In a bloody fight
While gallantly striving to gain the height
Of San Juan Hill, he was a hero true.
Why, a braver man I never knew!"
"And yesterday he got a promote."
'Twas thus his tent-mate and comrade wrote
Who could guess what grief and pain was hers,
And anguish, when this reached her ears.
Too deep and too bitter it was for tears,
And which shall last through the flight of years,
Yes, a grief which time cannot undo:
Ah! why, why, is it such things are true?
But not where he fell, on Cuba's clay,
Not there, but here is his grave to-day,
Which with flowers her loving hands strew
Each year as the seasons come and go.
And to-day, as over his grave she kneels,
A new-born weight of sorrow she feels;
How cruel, cruel is war, she thinks,
As her cup of sorrow and grief she drinks.
She has placed above his sleeping dust
A beautiful anchor of hope and trust,
Woven of lilies and heliotropes;--
But it does not tell of earthly hopes.
Ah, no! For all these hopes took their flight
The day she heard from that awful fight
For humanity, on San Juan Hill,
Where he so gallantly fought and fell.
This anchor tells of her steadfast hope,
A hope which in darkness does not grope;
'Tis a hope that they will part no more
When they meet again on the other shore.
Oh, how many, how many like her
Mourn the loss of a soldier hero dear!
Sadly and alone the world they tread;
"Their hopes lie buried with their heroes dead."