(Written after the death of Eugene Field.)
Silent he watched them—the soldiers and dog—
Tin toys on the little armchair,
Keeping their tryst through the slow going years
For the hand that had stationed them there;
And he said that perchance the dust and the rust
Hid the griefs that the toy friends knew,
And his heart watched with them all the dark years,
Yearning ever for Little Boy Blue.
Three mourners they were for Little Boy Blue,
Three ere the cold winds had begun;
Now two are left watching—the soldier and dog;
But for him the vigil is done.
For him too, the angel has chanted a song
A song that is lulling and true.
He has seen the white gates of the mansions of rest,
Thrown wide by his Little Boy Blue.
God sent not the Angel of Death for his soul—
Not the Reaper who cometh for all—
But out of the shadows that curtained the day
He heard his lost little one call,
Heard the voice that he loved, and following fast,
Passed on to the far-away strand;
And he walks the streets of the City of Peace,
With Little Boy Blue by the hand.