Banks of the Ban/The Soldier's Dream

Banks of the Ban  (1816) 
The Soldier's Dream


Our bugles had sung, for the night cloud had lower’d,
and the centinel stars set the 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,
by the wolf-scaring faggot, and guarding the slain.
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
and twice ere the cock crew I dreamt it again.

Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array,
far, far I had roam’d on a desolate track,
Till nature and sunshine disclos’d the sweet way
to the house of my father, that welcom’d me back:
flew to the pleasant fields, traveled so oft
in life’s morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
and well knew the strain that the corn-reapers sung.

Then pledg’d we the wine cup, & fondly we swore,
from my home and my weeping friends never to part;
My little ones kiss’d me a hundred times o’er,
and my wife sobb’d aloud in the fulness of heart.

Stay, stay with us, rest, thou art weary and worn,
and fain was the war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow return’d with the dawning of morn,
and the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.