‘Twas hard to think that he must go,
We knew that we should miss him so,
We thought that he must always stay
Beside us, laughing, day by day;
That he must never know the care
And hurt and grief of life out there.
Then came the call for youth, and he
Talked with his mother and with me,
And suddenly we learned the boy
Was hungering to know the joy
Of doing something real with life,
And that he craved the test of strife.
And so we steeled ourselves to dread;
To see at night his empty bed;
To feel the silence and the gloom
That hovers o’er his vacant room,
And though we wept the day he went,
And many a lonely hour we’ve spent,
We’ve come to think as he, somehow,
And we are more contented now;
We’re proud that we can stand and say
We have a boy who’s gone away.
And we are glad to know that he
Is serving where he ought to be.
It’s queer, the change that time has brought:
We’re different now in speech and thought;
His letters home mean joy to us,
His difficulties we discuss.
When word of his promotion came,
His mother, with her eyes aflame
With happiness and pride, rushed out
To tell the neighbors round about.
Her boy! Her boy is doing well!
What greater news can mothers tell?
I think that pity now we show
For those who have no boys to go.