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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
452. The Soldier’s Dream
 
Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
 
 
OUR bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lower’d,
  And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpower’d;
  The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
 
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw        5
  By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet Vision I saw;
  And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
 
Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array
  Far, far, I had roam’d on a desolate track:        10
’Twas Autumn,—and sunshine arose on the way
  To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.
 
I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
  In life’s morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,        15
  And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.
 
Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
  From my home and my weeping friends never to part;
My little ones kiss’d me a thousand times o’er,
  And my wife sobb’d aloud in her fulness of heart.        20
 
‘Stay—stay with us!—rest!—thou art weary and worn!’—
  And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;—
But sorrow return’d with the dawning of morn,
  And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.
 

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