MARCHING STILL by Minna Irving (b. 1872)

She is old, and bent, and wrinkled, In her rocker in the sun, And the thick, gray, woollen stocking That she knits is never done. She will ask the news of battle If you pass her when you will, For to her the troops are marching, Marching still. Seven tall sons about her growing Cheered the widowed mother's soul; One by one they kissed and left her When the drums began to roll. They are buried in the trenches, They are bleaching on the hill; But to her the boys are marching, Marching still. She was knitting in the corner When the fatal news was read, How the last and youngest perished,-- And the letter, ending, said: "I am writing on my knapsack By the road with borrowed quill, For the Union army'a marching, Marching still." Reason sank and died within her Like a flame for want of air; So she knits the woollen stockings For the soldier lads to wear, Waiting till the war is ended For her sons to cross the sill; For she thinks they all are marching, Marching still.

Postwar Remembrances