Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • Why?

    From The Birmingham Age Herald, December 6, 1914. By Kate Porter.

    When he was a little boy o’ mine,
        And e’en before he came,
    I thought of him as a hero brave,
        A man who’d win a name.

    The little hands that clung to mine
        I taught to work alone,
    The little mind I taught to think
        Without depending on my own.

    I made his little body strong,
        I made him brave and true,
    Although I knew that all the while
        From me he further grew.

    Then why should I be sorrowing,
        His country’s call has come?
    Oh, why should I not feel my pride?
        He bravely leaves his home.

    His land is what I trained him for,
        So why should tears fall fast?
    The man-child that I gave to it
        Goes forth to serve at last!

    As strong as any mother’s son
        I watched him ride away,
    Yet why do I keep thinking him
        My little boy today?

    Long years it’s been since I last heard
        His voice in childish key,
    And why do I keep hearing now
        A little cry for me?

    ’Twas sweet to hold his baby form
        (How safe he was with me!)
    But ever in my mind I hold
        The man that was to be.

    And now how fades that vision bright,
        This thought of him, in pain!
    Ah, why can I but see instead
        My little boy again?