The Only Son

A poem by Henry Newbolt

O Bitter wind toward the sunset blowing,
What of the dales to-night?
In yonder gray old hall what fires are glowing,
What ring of festal light?

"In the great window as the day was dwindling
I saw an old man stand;
His head was proudly held and his eyes kindling,
But the list shook in his hand."

O wind of twilight, was there no word uttered,
No sound of joy or wail?
"'A great fight and a good death,' he muttered;
'Trust him, he would not fail.'"

What of the chamber dark where she was lying;
For whom all life is done?
"Within her heart she rocks a dead child, crying
'My son, my ltttle son.'"

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