Poetry of Kansas


We wandered by the willows
My little love and I;
Beside the crested billows,
Beneath the jewelled sky.
Our troth had long been spoken,
Our nuptial day long set;
But now my voice was broken,
And her fair cheek was wet.
One fear, one bitter feeling___
Each fully understood:
A cannon's cruel pealing,
A maiden's widowhood!
She whispered as we parted
With anguished trembling sigh,
"I live, but broken hearted,
You go away to die."
I went away to battle;
Faced bayonet and ball,
Where men like herded cattle
By thousands fight and fall.
Yet not a mark I carried,
When mustered out of strife;
And not an hour I tarried
From her my soul, my life.
Home, home at last! ___Ah, sorrow.
A bell bewailed the dead.
"With joy 'twill ring tomorrow
When she and I are wed,"
"When she and I are married !"
I waited by the tract,
The mourner's carriage carried
Her mother past in black.
She read my face and nodded.
I staggered, dumb with grief.
"O grave, untimely sodded!
O Deaths relentless thief?'
Lost loved one, thy forebodings
Were merely disarranged;
For me thou felt their goadings,
But we are interchanged.

__Harry Edward Mills.


Select Sunflowers
Harry Edward Mills
(Fort Scott: Sunflower Press. 1901)
Pages 51-52

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November 20, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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