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

  • The Mother

    From The Times Dispatch, August 13, 1914.

    I hear the blaring bands go by; I hear the marching feet;
    All day they drum their dreadful dirge along the dusty street.
    I hear the crowds give cheer on cheer of fierce and furious joy,
    And wonder if they see him there—my little, little boy.
    A baby only yesterday, with soft and sunny hair;
    So helpless and so innocent; so fragile, and so fair!

    So strong I felt to shield him then, safe sheltered in my arm,
    It seemed the whole wide world could never do him any harm.
    And oh, the long, long nights I watched beside his trundle bed
    To fight away the pain that racked his little fevered head.
    I fought his battles for him then; he leaves my side today
    To fight far greater ones alone, and oh, so far away.

    The little dimpled hand that lay so trustingly in mine
    Must grasp a rifle barrel soon along the firing line.
    My baby boy I held so close I felt his fluttering breath
    Has left me empty-armed and gone to see the face of death.
    And never mother’s voice to soothe, nor mother’s arm to shield,
    From all the direful perils of the smoke-hung battlefield.