The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

Knitting Socks

The Boston Transcript reprinted the following poem in 1917, just as it appeared in that paper November 27, 1861.

CLICK, click! how the needles go

Through the busy fingers, to and fro--

With no bright colors of berlin wool,

Delicate hands today are full:

Only a yarn of deep, dull blue,

Socks for the feet of the brave and true.

Yet click, click, how the needles go,

'Tis a power within that nerves them so.

In the sunny hours of the bright spring day,

And still in the night time far away.

Maiden, mother, grandame sit

Earnest and thoughtful while they knit.

Many the silent prayers they pray,

Many the tear drops brushed away.

While busy on the needles go,

Widen and narrow, heel and toe.

The grandame thinks with a thrill of pride

How her mother knit and spun beside

For that patriot band in olden days

Who died the Stars and Stripes to raise--

Now she in turn knits for the brave

Who'd die that glorious flag to save.

She is glad, she says, ''the boys" have gone,

'Tis just as their grandfathers would have done.

But she heaves a sigh and the tears will start,

For "the boys" were the pride of grandame's heart.

The mother's look is calm and high,

God only hears her soul's deep cry--

In Freedom's name, at Freedom's call,

She gave her sons--in them her all.

The maiden's cheek wears a paler shade.

But the light in her eyes is undismayed.

Faith and hope give strength to her sight,

She sees a red dawn after the night.

Oh, soldiers brave, will it brighten the day,

And shorten the march on the weary way,

To know that at home the loving and true

Are knitting and hoping and praying for your

Soft are the voices when speaking your name,

Proud are their glories when hearing your fame.

And the gladdest hour in their lives will be

When they greet you after the victory.

Notes

The Boston Transcript reprinted the following poem in 1917, just as it appeared in that paper November 27, 1861.