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 ‘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?

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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