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  Where Is My Boy Tonight  


When the clouds in the Western sky
     Flush red with the setting sun,--
When the veil of twilight falls,
     And the busy day is done,--
I sit and watch the clouds,
     With their crimson hues alight,
And ponder with anxious heart,
     Oh, where is my boy to-night?

It is just a year to-day
     Since he bade me a gay good-by,
To march where banners float,
     And the deadly missiles fly.
As I marked his martial step
     I felt my color rise
With all a mother's pride,
     And my heart was in my eyes.

There's a little room close by,
     Where I often used to creep
In the hush of the summer night
     To watch my boy asleep.
But he who used to rest
     Beneath the spread so white
Is far away from me now,--
     Oh, where is my boy to-night?

Perchance in the gathering night,
     With slow and weary feet,
By the light of Southern stars,
     He paces his lonely beat.
Does he think of the mother's heart
     That will never cease to yearn,
As only a mother's can,
     For her absent boy's return?

Oh, where is my boy to-night?
     I cannot answer where,
But I know, wherever he is,
     He is under our Father's care.
May He guard, and guide, and bless
     My boy, wherever he be,
And bring him back at length
     To bless and to comfort me.

May God bless all our boys
     By the camp-fire's ruddy glow,
Or when in the deadly fight
     They front the embattled foe;
And comfort each mother's heart,
     As she sits in the fading light,
And ponders with anxious heart--
     Oh, where is my boy to-night?

       - Horatio Alger Jr.

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