Ask my not why my heart with fond emotion
Beats for the brave companions of my youth!
Had they not tended me with love's devotion
I had not liv'd, alas, to prove my truth:
A helpless babe upon the field I lay,
And but for them my life had pass'd away
My life had pass'd away:
Ere I forget, then, all their loving kindness
Bring o'er my heart oblivion of the past:
But when you win for me that fatal blindness,
In mercy let that moment, that moment be my last.
Chide me no more, were I devoid of feeling
Would my ingratitude not wake thy fears!
Worthless would be this moment's fond revealing,
If I could cast aside the ties of long long years.
Thou hast my love; thine is a mother's claim,
To them forget not that thou ow'st the name,
My mother, my mother dear,
Ere I can cease to think of all their kindness
Donizetti, Gaetano, "Child of the Regiment" (1848). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 715.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.