A Soldier


Dear God, I raised my boy to be a soldier;
I tried to make him strong of will and true;
I told him many a tale of deeds heroic—
The noblest and the sweetest tales I knew.

In thought, he shared the charge at Balaclava,
With the Swiss Guard, o'ermastered coward Death,
With Gordon all renounced, with Scott and Peary
Breathed in his ardent youth heroic breath.

A little lad, he wept for wounded Sidney,
For Bayard, sans reproche, who knew no fears,
Yet, hurt himself, if one but said,—"My Soldier!"—
Straightaway he smiled and swallowed down his tears.

I taught him that the brave are full of mercy;
That gentleness and love to strength belong;
That honour is the only High adventure,
And goodness the one everlasting song!

And so I raised my boy to be a Soldier:
A patriot soldier, brave, devoted, free!
And now, and now,—with grateful trust, O Father!
I give him to my Country and to Thee!

Florence Earle Coates.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1927, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.