Poetry of Kansas

Interchanged.

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

 
Kansas:  Poetry  History  Towns  Counties  Colleges  Libraries  Museums

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

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library