THE SOLDIER BOY'S DREAM
A SOLDIER boy lay dreaming
In his lonely prison cell,
While the stars above were gleaming,
And their lustre on him fell.
His dreams were bright, angels of light
Were hovering o'er his head;
'Twas day in night, the spirit's sight,
The living of sleep's dead.
On wings of love his soul was borne
By the celestial band,
Where he no longer mourned alone,
To his home in Southern land.
He roved in bowers, amid sweet flowers
Of every kind, and shade,--
The mock-bird's note thrilled from its throat,
And music filled the glade.
His noble sire, with silver hair,
Again stood by his side;
His saintly mother breathed a prayer
For this her son, her pride.
And yet again, joy deep brings pain!
His Katy meets him there--
Stands by his side, his promised bride;
Sweet Katy, pure and fair.
Again he cools his fever'd brain
With water soft and clear,
Whose murmuring, like distant rain,
Falls soothing on his ear.
And now a stroke the silence broke,
The wood-bird seeks his prey,--
Ah! 'tis not dreams, the daylight gleams,
The wood-bird's strokes still stay.
The boy sprang to his window small,
Gazed on the passing night--
A new-made gallows, grim and tall,
Loomed to his eager sight:
In his despair, he tore his hair,
And cursed the craven nation,
Who for but hate, made death his fate--
A soft hand touched the stricken'd boy,
And an Šolian voice
Bade him, in accents full of joy,
To follow, and rejoice!
On by the guards, the sleeping guards,
They flew like silent death,
Without a sound the gate they found,
Scarce drawing e'en a breath.
Now the dread danger all is o'er;
He turned to thank his guide;
He gazed again once more, once more--
No one stood near his side.
125Celestial light dawned o'er his night,
Earth seemed with glory bound,--
Filled him with joy, the blissful joy
Of Liberty, new found.