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The Soldier's Grave

Ada Cambridge 1844 (St Germans, Norfolk) – 1926 (Melbourne)



Twas long ago, in the summer-time,
On a day as sad as this,
That I laid my babe in its father's arms,
And he gave it his farewell kiss;
When the army sail'd from the English shores
In a mist of sun and rain,
To the vine-clad hills and citadels
And the olive groves of Spain.

I set my face to the balmy south,
And listen'd, intent and dumb,
As though a cry from the battle-grounds
On the fragrant wind might come.
I yearn'd for a gleam of the red camp fires
Which burn'd through the watchful nights,
For the shine of the bayonets that clash'd one day
On the dread Albuera heights.

Ah me! And my face cannot turn away,
Though the ashes are on my brow,—
Though the news of the battle came once for all,
And there's nothing to watch for now!
Though 'tis further away than that far south land
I must look for my dear man's face,—
Though I know he will never come home again
To the chair in the old house-place!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Ada Cambridge

Ada Cambridge, later known as Ada Cross, was an English-born Australian writer. She wrote more than 25 works of fiction, three volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works. Many of her novels were serialised in Australian newspapers but never published in book form. While she was known to friends and family by her married name, Ada Cross, her newspaper readers knew her as A. C.. She later reverted to her maiden name, Ada Cambridge, and that is how she is known today.  more…

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