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Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.


VIGIL strange I kept on the field one night; When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day, One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look I  
 shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you lay on  
 the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle, Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I made my  
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son  
 of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the  
 moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle- 
 field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night, But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed, Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my  
 chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest  
 comrade—not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my  
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole, Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your  
I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we shall  
 surely meet again,)
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn  
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form, Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and care- 
 fully under feet,
And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his  
 grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited,
Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battle-field  
Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth  
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day  
I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his  
And buried him where he fell.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.

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