The spark of boldness lightly grows a flame.
I should not have employed that man; it may
Yet turn against me. Is it then so true:
We think we rule, while we ourselves are ruled?
Enters Elsie Bradburn.
Miss Elsie Bradburn? Happy I must call
The cause that led your footsteps to this tent,
For, ah! a soldier's rude and changeful life
Lets him too oft, too easily forget
Those milder feelings, gentler traits of heart
Which woman's beneficial influence
Begets and fosters in society.
'Tis hence, indeed, a blessing, when the spell
Of woman's presence melts at times the ice.
Wherewith war's chilly blast incrusts our hearts.
The flattering praise by which Your Excellency
Deign to extol our earthly mission's purport
Most happ'ly lightens the anxiety
Of my request, whose worthy utterance
Would otherwise have sorely tried my lips.
I crave the leave of nursing and attending
The youth on whom an evil fate has laid
The double weight of prison and disease.