Second Evening. Part 9 -

Even then ere loath their hands could part
A promise the youth gave which bore
Some balm unto the maiden's heart,
That, soon as the fierce fight was o'er,
To home he'd speed, if safe and free —
Nay, even if dying, still would come,
So the blest word of " Victory! "
Might be the last he'd breathe at home.
" By day, " he cried, " thou 'lt know my bark;
" But should I come thro' midnight dark,
" A blue light on the prow shall tell
" That Greece hath won and all is well! "

Fondly the maiden every night,
Had stolen to seek that promised light;
Nor long her eyes had now been turned
From watching when the signal burned.
Signal of joy — for her, for all —
Fleetly the boat now nears the land,
While voices from the shore-edge call
For tidings of the long-wished band.

Oh the blest hour when those who 've been
Thro' peril's paths by land or sea
Locked in our arms again are seen
Smiling in glad security;
When heart to heart we fondly strain,
Questioning quickly o'er and o'er —
Then hold them off to gaze again
And ask, tho' answered oft before,
If they indeed are ours once more?

Such is the scene so full of joy
Which welcomes now this warrior-boy,
As fathers, sisters, friends all run
Bounding to meet him — all but one
Who, slowest on his neck to fall,
Is yet the happiest of them all.

And now behold him circled round
With beaming faces at that board,
While cups with laurel foliage crowned,
Are to the coming warriors poured —
Coming, as he, their herald, told,
With blades from victory scarce yet cold,
With hearts untouched by Moslem steel
And wounds that home's sweet breath will heal.

" Ere morn, " said he, — and while he spoke
Turned to the east, where clear and pale
The star of dawn already broke —
" We 'll greet on yonder wave their sail! "
Then wherefore part? all, all agree
To wait them here beneath this bower;
And thus, while even amidst their glee,
Each eye is turned to watch the sea,
With song they cheer the anxious hour.
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