‘By-and-bye, ’ the maiden sighed – ‘by-and-bye
He will claim me for his bride,
Hope is strong and time is fleet;
Youth is fair, and love is sweet,
Clouds will pass that fleck my sky,
He will come back by-and-bye.
‘By-and-bye, ’ the soldier said – ‘by-and-bye,
After I have fought and bled,
I shall go home from the wars,
Crowned with glory, seamed with scars,
Joy will flash from some one’s eye
When she greets me by-and-bye- by-and-bye.
‘By-and-bye, ’ the mother cried – ‘by-and-bye,
Strong and sturdy at my side,
Like a staff supporting me,
Will my bonnie baby be.
Break my rest, then, wail and cry –
Thou’lt repay me by-and-bye - by-and-bye.
Fleeting years of time have sped – hurried by –
Still the maiden is unwed:
All unknown soldier lies,
Buried under alien skies;
And the son, with blood-shot eye,
Saw his mother starve and die.
God in heaven! dost Thou on high
Keep the promised ‘by-and-bye’ - by-and-bye?