Patriotic pieces from the Great War/The Soldier's Mother
THE SOLDIER'S MOTHER
After all, there is no love like a mother's love. She loves her unborn babe with a tender, wistful, yearning love which makes the anguish of her sufferings a joy unspeakable. When the little one is placed in her arms exultant joy fills her heart. The wee baby rules this mother heart, and the growing child is her first thought in the morning hour and her last prayer as she rests her weary head upon her pillow. She is generally reticent and undemonstrative, but her boy is the joy of her heart and the gladness of her life. This wise and loving mother knows her boy must have companionships intimate and dear, and she does not interfere. Her boy becomes a man, and gradually he forms his circle of friendships, and as time goes on he is overwhelmed by the mystery and gladness of a great love. His mother understands, and with a tender light in her eyes she withdraws herself just a little more. Then comes the joy and bewilderment of the growing family and new chambers are unlocked in her "boy's" heart, but the mother, now growing old, understands, and there is no jealousy in her heart.
She sits alone much these days, but her memory is busy, and her heart holds a secret of that love which began before her boy was born—that boy who is now a great man with a home and babies of his own. How sweet and holy and God-like is mother's love!
In the great and devastating war no one can ever estimate the suffering of the mothers of all lands. With complete self-forgetfulness they have said farewell to their boys. The women of Sparta were not braver than the women of the warring countries of to-day. And now our American mothers must lay their sons on the altar of their country, and they will do so with a heroism unsurpassed by the mothers of any country or any generation. Others will suffer, but the suffering of our mothers will be as sweet and holy and God-like as their love.
If it pleases God, many of our noble young men will come unscathed through the dragon-guarded gates of war. Flushed with victory, decorated with badges of honor, grown strong with burden-bearing, these boys will come home amid the plaudits and tears of welcome hosts. Mother, may your boy be among those who will thus come home! But if not, you will remember that it will be his glory to die for his beloved country. You will rejoice that he went forward with undaunted mien and unflinching eye, and that, like Nathan Hale, he was sorry that he had but one life to lose for his country!