"Sweetheart, take this," a soldier said,
"And bid me brave good-by;
It may befall we ne'er shall wed,
But love can never die.
Be steadfast in thy troth to me,
And then, whate'er my lot,
'My soul to God, my heart to thee,'--
Sweetheart, forget me not!"
The maiden took the tiny flower
And nursed it with her tears:
Lo! he who left her in that hour
Came not in after years.
Unto a hero's death he rode
'Mid shower of fire and shot;
But in the maiden's heart abode
The flower, forget-me-not.
And when he came not with the rest
From out the years of blood,
Closely unto her widowed breast
She pressed a faded bud;
Oh, there is love and there is pain,
And there is peace, God wot,--
And these dear three do live again
In sweet forget-me-not.
'T is to an unmarked grave to-day
That I should love to go,--
Whether he wore the blue or gray,
What need that we should know?
"He loved a woman," let us say,
And on that sacred spot,
To woman's love, that lives for aye,
We'll strew forget-me-not.