Sunday, April 1, 2012

More...Union poems 1861-1862

Discovered two more poems. These were published in at times it is difficult to read the type...I put in [brackets] those words I could not read with my best approximation.  

The Daily Cleveland Herald, (Cleveland, OH)Thursday, December 12, 1861
A Call for the Mitten.
In the times that are bygone, of Christmas and New Years,
Whose memories are cherished with blessings and tears,
When we sought of Affection some token to breathe
Our love for our dear ones, we chose to bequeath
A book or a [penell,?] a picture, or gem,--
Some gift best befitting our fancy, or them.

The maiden, to symbol the love she well knew
Was as peerless, and priceless, as boundless and true,
She lacking the power the stars to obtain,
Then gave the best gifts form the earth or the main,
[W ?lle] oft, when besieged by some dull, stupid beau,
She shrank from pronouncing the cruel no, no,--
She need not remain a demure as a kitten,
If she would but enclose him a nice little mitten!

But times are now changed, and brave sons and dear brothers
Wander far from the care of sweet sisters, and mothers;
They roam on the banks of Potomac’s wild shore,
Or climb, with tired foot, some steep mountain o’er,
Bleak plains and damp forests re-echo their thread;
And the ground, or the snow-drift, may pillow their head.
Though the heart will be brave, and tho’ strong be the will,
The blood may grow cold and the hand will grow chill,
So the truest, the tenderest, most welcome love token,
The pledge of a faith never changing—unbroken—
Be it sacred, or silent—expressed, or unwritten,
It can all be wrapped up in the warm woolen mitten.

The weary worn soldier, when out on a picket
Keeping guard in the shade of some icy-bound thicket,
The web that was woven by fairy-like fingers
Will bring back the scenes where his memory lingers,
The form that is dearest—the face the most fair,
Will beam on his sight form the cold misty air,
His spirit will lighten—his dreams will expand,
And his heart will grow warm, as well as his hand.
Then let Marthas, and Marys, gay Jennies, and Fans,
Sweet Coras, and Katies, and Bright Lucy Anns,
Kind Sarahs, and Abbys, Rebecca and Sue,
Fair Effies, and Edies, and Evelines, too,
With every one else whom Cupid has smitten;
At once begin making the Soldier’s warm mitten!

Let the proud, haughty belle, too, leave laces and satin,
Let her take in their place this simple machine,
These four little needles, with fingers between,
‘Tis a labor so homelike, to calm and befitting,
Our Grandmothers gave it the [JOUE ?] name of knitting;
It sure has a charm most beguiling, bewitching,
For while with the yarn she is twirling and twitching,
With each newly-made stitch of the soft woolen thread,
New forms and new fancies will float through her head.

She will dream of a manhood undaunted and bold,
Whose virtues and dearer than honors or gold,
Whose blood has flowed freely for Freedom and Right,
Whose valor shall conquer in the strength of its might
She will learn the stern offering the Patriot has given,
The hearts dearest treasures to Duty and Heaven;
The frost-work of Fashion will melt from her soul,
And mountains of Folly to atoms will roll;
With devotion unselfish her feelings will burn,
And the vain Coquette’s heart to a Woman’s will turn,
So powerful, so potent, such magic is it in,--
A talisman true is the brave Soldier’s mitten!
Elyria Dec. 10, 1861

The Christian Recorder, (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) February 22, 1862

So, Mr. Homeguard, home you go:
You’ve got your hat and cane.
Excuse me, pray. But really, sir,
You must not call again.
I’m working for your soldiers, that
To freedom’s summons haste;
I once could entertain you, but
I’ve now no time to waste.

Of course you know I’d be with them
Were I like you a man;
As ‘tis, I’ll make what sacrifice
A feeble woman can.
I’ve given up my canary-bird,
My cat and poodle too;
I’ve given up all my foolish pets,
And I must give up—you.

I know you’ll ask, if you can’t help,
And come and hold the yarn
For me to wind? But, no, you can’t.
I’ve got to knit and darn—
Crochet, make slippers—true, you know
Some girlish things to do.
But you can’t come, for grandmother
Will do as well as you.

So, now, good by! Sometimes a walk
For exercise I’ll take,
And if we meet, perhaps I’ll speak,
For old acquaintance sake.
--He’s gone! O me, I quake to think
Had not this war been waged.
By this time, Ugh! That sneak and I,
We might have been engaged.

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