Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘son’ Category

Come Up From the Fields Father

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 son.

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 vines,

(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?

Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately

buzzing?)

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 well.

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

trembling,

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, 0 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 waking,

In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one deep

longing,

O that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent from life escape

and withdraw,

To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead son.

-Walt Whitman

Read Full Post »