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SHERIDAN'S RIDE.-Thos. BUCHANAN READ.
Up from the South at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away!
And heavier still those billows of war
Thundered along the horizon's bar;
And louder yet into Winchester rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled
Making the blood of the listener cold,
As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray-
And Sheridan twenty miles away!
But there is a road from Winchester town,
A good broad highway leading down;
And there, thro' the flush of the morning light,
A steed as black as the steeds of night
Was seen to pass, as with eagle's flight,
As if he knew the terrible need,
He stretched away with his utmost speed.
Hill rose and fell, but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away!
Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering south,
The dust, like the smoke from the cannon's mouth,
Or the trail of a comet sweeping faster and faster,
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster.
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master
Were beating, like prisoners assaulting their walls—
Impatient to be where the battle-field calls.
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away!
Under his spurring feet the road,
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed;
And the landscape sped away behind,
Like an ocean flying before the wind;
And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace ire,
Swept on, with his wild eyes full of fire.
But lo! he is nearing his heart's desire,
He is spuffing the smoke of the battle fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away!
The first that the General saw were the groups
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops.
What was done? What to do? A glance told him both;
Then striking his spurs, with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line mid a storm of huzzas,
And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because
The sight of the leader compelled it to pause.
With foam and with dust the black charger was gray.
By the flash of his eye and his red nostril's play,
He seemed to the whole great army to say, -
"I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester down, to save the day !”.
Hurrah! hurrah! for Sheridan!
Hurrah! hürrah! for horse and man!
And when their statues are placed on high,
Under the dome of the Union sky-
The American soldiers' Temple of Fame-
There, with the glorious General's name,
Be it said, in letters both bold and bright,
the steed nat saved the day,
By carrying Sheridan into the fight
From Winchester, twenty miles away!"
“It is two years ago to-day, dearest mother,
Since we gave up our only dear one,
And I bade good-by 'to a brother,
And you bade 'good-by' to a son;
And you know when our eyes were o'erflowing,
How he said: With his life in his hand-
And his soul in God's hand-he was going
To save the dear life of his land!
“How proudly they marched through the village,
With the flag of their fathers before ! The farmer came forth from his tillage,
And shut were the shop and the store ; And the cheering and music grew louder,
As our patriot boys marched away, I never was sadder nor prouder,
Than I was on that midsummer's day.
“Oh! he never could know how I missed him,
Ere the gleam of his banner was hid ! And, weeping, I wished I had kissed him
A hundred times more than I did ! Ah! could he but know how I love him
Why, what are you crying so for ? How proud we all shall be of him,
When Willie comes home from the war!"
“My child, you behold but the banners,
That are waving o'er fields of renown, And you hear but the hearty hosannas,
That are swelling from city to town; But through all the glitter and glory,
There's a glimpse of the pall and the shroud, And a dirge in the jubilant story
That bursts from the hearts of the crowd."
Oh! the visions of death that are sweeping
Through the halls of my spirit to-night! Of the forms that together are sleeping,
Where they fell in the first of the fight; of the grave of my own darling brother,
Who died when the battle was won01 the shot pierced the heart of his mother,
When it shattered the heart of her son! Ol daughters of true-hearted mothers !
I am praying as never before, For the day you shall welcome your brothers
Though mine I shall welcome no more! Yet why all this dread and strange feeling?
And what are we weeping so for? Ahl an ominous cloud is concealing
The sunshine of “ After the War!"