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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953). A Treasury of War Poetry. 1917.

Ada Tyrrell

My Son

HERE is his little cambric frock

That I laid by in lavender so sweet,

And here his tiny shoe and sock

I made with loving care for his dear feet.

I fold the frock across my breast,

And in imagination, ah, my sweet,

Once more I hush my babe to rest,

And once again I warm those little feet.

Where do those strong young feet now stand?

In flooded trench, half numb to cold or pain,

Or marching through the desert sand

To some dread place that they may never gain.

God guide him and his men to-day!

Though death may lurk in any tree or hill,

His brave young spirit is their stay,

Trusting in that they’ll follow where he will.

They love him for his tender heart

When poverty or sorrow asks his aid,

But he must see each do his part—

Of cowardice alone he is afraid.

I ask no honours on the field,

That other men have won as brave as he—

I only pray that God may shield

My son, and bring him safely back to me!