The Little Soldier

"SEE, mother, see my little sword,

And here's my wooden gun;

When I am grown a taller boy,

I'll have a bigger one.

And oh, I'll be a solder brave,

With buttons new and bright,

And, mother, to the wars I'll go,

And there I'll learn to fight.”

A tear-drop kissed the ruddy hands

Of the delighted boy;

His mother thought upon the words,

And wept but not for joy.

Deeply her pious heart deplored

Such seeds of sorrow sown,

In the new furrows where so oft

Had seeds of grace been thrown.

She laid the fatal playthings by

The tiny sword and gun

"Far other than such arms as these.

Be thine, my only son.

There is another warfare boy,

And other foes to slay,

Than where, to spill their fellows' blood,

Men throw their own away.

"It is a warfare fierce and long;

The foes are all within;

And there they battle and are strong

This conflict is with sin.

But to the soldiers all are given

Bright arms and conquering skill;

Such is the warfare he approves,

Who saith, " Thou shalt not kill."