“I try to realise that I am to be your wife; the heavenly reality seems vaguely impossible. Yet every moment I am schooling myself to the belief, telling myself that it is to be, repeating the divine words again and again. And all I am capable of understanding is that I love you, and that the world stands still, waiting for you as I wait; and that without you nothing is real, and I move in a world of phantoms.
“I have been to the mirror to look at myself. To be certain, I also asked Celia. She says that you will not be disappointed.
“She sat here searching the morning paper for news of her husband’s regiment, but found none. What women endure for men no man that ever lives can understand.
“She is perfectly cheerful about it all. And, oh, such a rebel! She read aloud to me with amused malice the order from the War Department which does away with regimental bands and substitutes a brigade band.
“I sca’cely blame them,’ she observed; ’I’d be ve’y glad myse’f to hear less of Yankee Doodle and the Star-spangled Banner. When they let President Davis alone, and when Curt comes home, I’ve got some ve’y pretty songs fo’ him to learn to appreciate.’
“She’s down stairs now, seated at the piano, singing very softly to herself some gaily impudent rebel song or other. I know it’s a rebel song by the way she sings it.
“And, as I sit here, alone, thinking of how I love you—far away I hear the ’old line’s bugle’—the quaint, quick rhythm of the fifes and drums; and it stirs depths in me where my very soul lies listening—and the tears spring to my eyes. And I try to understand why every separate silver star in the flag is mine to hold, mine to rescue and replace, mine to adore. And I try to understand why all of it is part of the adoration of you, and of God who gave you to me—Philip—Philip—my lover, my country, my God—worshipped and adored of men!”
[Illustration: “Philip—Philip—my lover, my country, my God—worshipped and adored of men!”]