Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.

"Come Up From The Fields, Father,"
A classic poem by Walt Whitman

A mother learns of the death of her only son during the American Civil War.

A Service Of Internet Church Of Christ - - Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director

MP3 Reading by Rev. Bill McGinnis

and ""

Come up from the Fields, Father

Come up from the Fields, Father
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass, 1900. 

COME up from the fields, father, here's
  a letter from our Pete;   
And come to the front door, mother, here's
   a letter from thy dear son.   
Lo, 'tis autumn;   
Lo, where the trees, deeper green,
  yellower and redder,   
Cool and sweeten Ohio's villages, with
  leaves fluttering in the moderate wind;
Where apples ripe in the orchards hang,
  and grapes on the trellis'd vines;   
(Smell you the smell of the grapes on
  the vines?   
Smell you the buckwheat, where the bees
   were lately buzzing?)   
Above all, lo, the sky, so calm, so transparent
  after the rain, and with wondrous clouds;   
Below, too, all calm, all vital and beautiful,
  and the farm prospers well.  
Down in the fields all prospers well;   
But now from the fields come, father, come
   at the daughter's call;   
And come to the entry, mother, to the front door
   come, right away.   
Fast as she can she hurries, something ominous,
  her steps trembling;   
She does not tarry to smoothe her hair, nor
   adjust her cap.   
Open the envelope quickly;   
O this is not our son's writing, yet his name
   is sign'd;   
O a strange hand writes for our dear son. O stricken
  mother's soul!   
All swims before her eyes,flashes with black,
  she catches the main words only;   
Sentences broken, "gun-shot wound in the breast,
   cavalry skirmish, taken to hospital,  
At present low, but will soon be better."   
Ah, now, the single figure to me,   
Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio, with all its
   cities and farms,   
Sickly white in the face, and dull in the head,
  very faint,   
By the jamb of a door leans. 
"Grieve not so, dear mother," (the just-grown
   daughter speaks through her sobs;   
The little sisters huddle around, speechless
 and dismay'd;)   
"See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will
soon be better."   
Alas, poor boy, he will never be better, (nor
   may-be needs to be better, that brave and simple soul;)   
While they stand at home at the door, he is dead already; 
The only son is dead.   
But the mother needs to be better;   
She, with thin form, presently drest in black;   
By day her meals untouch'd, then at night fitfully
   sleeping, often waking,   
In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one
  deep longing,  
O that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent from life,
  escape and withdraw,   
To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead son.  
                            # # # 

Provided by Rev. Bill McGinnis
Public Domain

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Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director -

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