Skip to main content

Come Up From the Fields Father.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.


COME up from the fields father, here's a letter from our Pete, And come to the front door mother, here's a letter from thy dear  
Lo, 'tis autumn, Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder, Cool and sweeten Ohio's villages with leaves fluttering in the  
 moderate wind,
Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and grapes on the trellis'd  
(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines? Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)
  [ begin page 237 ]ppp.01663.243.jpg Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and  
 with wondrous clouds,
Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers  
Down in the fields all prospers well, But now from the fields come father, come at the daughter's call, And come to the entry mother, to the front door come right away. Fast as she can she hurries, something ominous, her steps  
She does not tarry to smooth her hair nor adjust her cap.
Open the envelope quickly, O this is not our son's writing, yet his name is sign'd, O a strange hand writes for our dear son, O stricken mother's soul! All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she catches the main  
 words only,
Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish,  
  taken to hospital,
At present low, but will soon be better.
Ah now the single figure to me, Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio with all its cities and farms, Sickly white in the face and dull in the head, very faint, By the jamb of a door leans. Grieve not so, dear mother, (the just-grown daughter speaks  
 through her sobs,
The little sisters huddle around speechless and dismay'd,) See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will soon be better.
Alas poor boy, he will never be better, (nor may-be needs to be  
 better, that brave and simple soul,)
While they stand at home at the door he is dead already, The only son is dead.
But the mother needs to be better, She with thin form presently drest in black, By day her meals untouch'd, then at night fitfully sleeping, often  
In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one deep longing, O that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent from life escape and  
To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead son.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.

Back to top