The following is said to be one of the finest battle poems ever produced by an American. Its
author was J. W. Watson, of New York, who, it was claimed by a New
Orleans lady, was the author of "Beautiful Snow."
Keep your arms ready!
God only knows ivhom we may meet here.
Don't let me be taken,
I'd rather awaken-,
Tomorrow, in — no matter where, - .•>,. ..
"Than lie in that foul prisoii'tiolc over there.
These rocks may have life,
Lay me down in this hollozv ;
We are out of the strife.
By heavens! the foeman may track me in blood!
No! no surgeon for me — he can give me no aid;
The surgeon I want is the pick-axe and spade.
What, Morris, a tear? Why, shame on ye, man!
I thought you a hero, but since you've began
To whimper and cry like a girl in her teens,
By George! I don't knoiv what the devil it means.
Well! well! I am rough; 'tis a very rough school,
This life of a trooper — but yet I'm no fool!
I know a brave man and a friend from a foe!
And boys, that yon love me, I certainly know,
But wasn't it grand,
When they came down the hill over sloughing and sand?
But we stood — did we not? — like immovable rock?
Unheeding their balls and repelling their shock?
Did you mind the loud cry,
When, as turning to fly,
Our men sprang upon them, determined to die?
Oh, wasn't it grand?
God help tJic poor wretches who fell in that fight,
No time was there given for prayer or for flight;
They fell by the score, in the crash hand to hand,
And they mingled their blood with the sloughing and sand.
Great heavens! this bullet hole gapes like a graye —
A curse on the aim of the traitorous knave!
Is there never a one of \e that knows hoiv to pray?
"Water is King— Here is its Kingdom. 1 *
IMPERIAL, CAL, SATURDAY, MAY 24, 1902:
The Dying Soldier.
Or speak for a man as his life ebbs away?
Pray! /**-* ..... '
Our father! Our Father! Why don't you proceed?
Can't you see lam dying ? Great God how hblced!
The light of the day
Is turning to gray —
Our. Father. in Heaven — boys, tell me the rest,
While I staunch this hot blood from this hole in my breast;
There's something about a forgiveness of sin—
Put that in! Put that in! — and then .
I'll follow your words and say an amen.
Here, Morris, old fellow, get hold of my hand!
And, Wilson, my comrade — oh, zvasn'fcit grand,
When they came down the hill like a thunder-charged
And were scattered like mist by our brave little crowd!
Where's Wilson, my comrade? — here, stoop dozun your
head, . ;
Can't you say a short prayer for the dying and dead?
"Christ God, who died for sinners all, *
Hear thou this suppliant wanderer's cry ;
Let not c'en this sparrow fall
Unheeded by Thy gracious eye.
Throzv wide the gates to let him in,
And take him pleading to thine arms;
forgive, 0 Lord! his life-long sin
And quiet all his fierce alarms."
God bless you, my comrade, for singing that hymn!
It is light to my path, when my sight has groivn dim!
J am dying — betid down] till I touch you once more —
Don't forget me, old fellow — God prosper this war!
Confusion to enemies — keep hold of my hand —
And float our dear flag o'er a prosperous land!
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