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The Greater Love
written by "McCarthy, George T."
...h with reverence the sanctuary of their thoughts. In long, regular lines they lie, immediately at the base of the hill. Most are still and motionless, helmeted, and with bayoneted rifles, like figures some Bartholdi or Rodin might have chiseled from bronze. Some, with free hand, are molding from the yellow, slimy clay, quaint little images, suggested, possibly, by thought of the little tin soldiers of boyhood days. Some, lying prone, are dreamily observing the blue sky showing here and there through billowy clouds. Some have made of their helmet a pillow and appear to sleep. Some with jest and story are radiating a subdued merriment. Some, with eyes staring straight ahead, seem as in a trance. In that tragic hour I looked with their eyes and saw with the vision of their soul. The picture [Pg 131] we all in common saw was painted on the canvas of memory. Where St. Joan of Arc Made Her First Communion. It represented any American town; preferably one bowered with maple and elm, and cast in a setting of emerald landscape. Just back from the winding road, a cottage, trellised with moss roses and forget-me-nots. Framed in the doorway, a sweet-faced mother, silver threads amid her gold of hair, is looking across distant fields. A path leads over the hill, and it would seem she watched and waited for someone! Last night she knelt beside a vacant chair, and, in the lonely vigil of her tears, prayed that God would bless and spare her boy. In the window hangs a service flag. Tomorrow, My God! there shall a message come from overseas changing its silver into gold! Who is it can smile with heart breaking the while When the soldier bids loved ones "Farewell"? Whose heart is it grieves, when the patriot leaves, [Pg 132] With an anguish that no tongue can tell? It's only the mother! For man knows no other Whose soul feels the weight of such woe; Who can smile and look brave and for lonely hours save The torrent of tears that must ...

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