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"There was where Lew Wallace showed them he was of

the canny kin;

There was where old Nelson thundered, and where Rousseau waded in;

There McCook 'sent them to breakfast,' and we all began to win;

There was where the grape-shot took me just as we began to win.

"Now a shroud of snow and silence over everything was

spread;

And but for this old blue mantle, and the old hat on my

head,

I should not have even doubted, to this moment, I was

dead;

For my footsteps were as silent as the snow upon the

dead.

“Death and silence! Death and silence! starry silence overhead!

And behold a mighty tower, as if builded to the dead,
To the heaven of the heavens lifted up its mighty head!
Till the Stars and Stripes of heaven all seemed waving
from its head!

"Round and mighty-based, it towered

finite!

up into the in

And I knew no mortal mason could have built a shaft so

bright;

For it shone like solid sunshine; and a winding stair of

light

Wound around it and around it, till it wound clear out of sight!

"And behold! as I approached it with a rapt and dazzled stare,

Thinking that I saw old comrades just ascending the great stair,

THE OLD SERGEANT.

203

Suddenly the solemn challenge broke of, 'Halt!' and

'Who goes there?'

'I'm a friend,' I said, 'if you are.'

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to the stair.'

Then advance, sir,

I advanced; that sentry, Doctor, was Elijah Ballan

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First of all to fall on Monday, after we had formed the

line.

'Welcome! my old sergeant, welcome! Welcome by that countersign!'

And he pointed to the scar there under this old cloak of mine !

"As he grasped my hand I shuddered

the grave;

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But he smiled and pointed upward, with a bright and

bloodless glaive :

That's the way, sir, to headquarters.'

quarters ?'

Of the brave !'

'What head

'But the great tower?' 'That was builded of the great

deeds of the brave!'

"Then a sudden shame came o'er me at his uniform of

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light;

At my own so old and tattered, and at his so new and

bright:

'Ah!' said he, you have forgotten the new uniform

to-night!

Hurry back, for you must be here at just twelve o'clock to-night!'

"And the next thing I remember, you were sitting there,

and I

Doctor, it is hard to leave you

all! Good-bye!

Hark! God bless you

Doctor, please to give my musket and my knapsack, when

I die,

To my son

my son that's coming he won't get here till I die!

"Tell him his old father blessed him as he never did

before;

And to carry that old musket - Hark! a knock is at the

door!

Till the Union see! it opens!"

speak once more!"

"Father! father!

"Bless you!" gasped the old gray Sergeant; and he lay and said no more!

When the surgeon gave the heir-son the old Sergeant's last advice,

And his musket and his knapsack, how the fire flashed in his eyes!

He is on the march this morning, and will march on till

he dies;

He will save this bleeding country, or will fight until he dies!

IN THE SEPULCHRE.

O KEEPER of the Sacred Key
And the Great Seal of Destiny!

Whose eye is the blue canopy,

Look down upon the world once more, and tell us what the end will be.

Three cold bright moons have filled and wheeled,
And the white cerement that concealed

The lifeless Figure on the shield

Is turned to verdure, and the land is now one mighty

battle-field.

IN THE SEPULCHRE.

And the twin brothers that we said
Had clashed above the fallen head,
Heedless of all on which they tread,

205

Now crimson with each other's blood the vernal drapery of the dead.

And all their children, far and wide,
That are so greatly multiplied,

Rise up in frenzy and divide,

And all, according to their might, unsheathe the sword and choose their side.

I see the champion sword-strokes flash,
I see them fall and hear them clash,

I hear the murderous engines crash,

I see a brother stoop to loose his foeman-brother's bloody sash.

I hear the curses and the thanks,

I see the mad charge on the flanks,

The rents -the gaps

the broken ranks,

And seen the vanquished driven headlong down the river's bridgeless banks.

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I see the death-gripe on the plain,

The grappling monsters on the main;

I see the thousands that are slain,

And all the speechless suffering and agony of heart and

brain.

I see the torn and mangled corpse,

The dead and dying heaped in scores,

The heedless rider by his horse,

The wounded captives bayoneted through and through without remorse.

I see the dark and bloody spots,

The crowded rooms and crowded cots,

The bleaching bones, the battle-blots ;

And write on many a nameless grave a legend of forget

me-nots.

I see the assassin crouch and fire;

I see his victim fall - expire

I see the victor creeping nigher,

To strip the dead — he turns the head- the face! the son beholds his sire!

I hear the dying sufferer cry,

With his crushed face turned to the sky;

I see him crawl in agony

To the foul pool, and bow his head into its bloody slime and die.

And in the low sun's bloodshot rays-
Portentous of the coming days

I see the oceans blush and blaze,

And the emergent continent between them wrapt in crimson haze.

And I foreorder and ordain,

That ere the sixth red moon shall wane
Those brothers' swords shall cross again,

And the True shall smite down the False within the Virgin's waste domain.

And lo! the bloody dew shall fall,
And my great darkness, like a pall

Of deep compassion, cover all,

Till the dead nation rise, transformed by truth, to triumph over all.

Thus saith the Keeper of the Key
And the Great Seal of Destiny,

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