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MARCHING AWAY

There is a shrill of bugles,
There is a sound of drums,
And down the wide and sun-lit street
A stately column comes
In answer to the bugles' call,
And to the call of drums.


The sons of loving households,
Bright youths from shop and store
Who leave their own familiar work,
For tasks untried before,
They go with sturdy feet and hands,
And study war's grim lore.


Our smiles and tears are mingled;
"Dear God, be kind," we pray;
"Be good to these our bonny lads
Who enter in the fray;
No care of ours can be their shield,
They go so far away."


Our sons were kindly gentlemen,
They were not taught to slay,
But, bred to ways of law and peace,
They saw their life's bright day
Unfolding fair before their eyes,
With joys of work and play.


But sudden, swift, the bugles' cry
And drum-beats fill their ears;
They make no protest at the call,
And trample down their fears,
And we—we watch them march away
And smile against our tears!