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The Hero without a Name.
I LOVED, when a child, to seek the page
Where war's proud tales are grandly told,
In the brave, good days of old ;
In serried ranks, 'neath their banners bright,
And broidered with “ God and Right."
'Twas there I read of Sir Launcelot true,
Whose deeds have been sung in a nobler strain; And of Roderic, the Bold, who his falchion drew,
In the cause of his native Spain ;
His white plume dotting the field's expanse ; And Bayard, who came like the swirl of the tide,
As he struck for the lilies of France.
On the crags of Scotland then I saw,
With his hair of golden hue, Montrose;
In the homes of his English foes.
There was Winkelried, in the Swiss-land famed;
And the mountaineers' boast-devoted TellBefore whose patriot shaft, well-aimed,
His country's tyrant fell.
'Neath Erin's flag, with its glad sunburst,
Was Emmett, the first in that martyr van, Whose blood makes sacred the gibbet accursed,
Where they died for the rights of man. There was Light-Horse Harry, the first in the fray,
There was Marion leading his cavaliersAnd Washington, too, whose grave to-day,
Is the shrine of patriot tears.
These splendid forms were part of the throng
That delighted me, moving in pageant grand, Through the wastes of time and the fields of song,
From the legends of every land. But little I hoped myself to see
A spirit akin to these stately men ; Or dreamed that great hearts, like theirs, could be
In a prison's crowded pen.
Yet, I've seen in the wards of the hospital there,
A hero, I fancy, as peerless of soul;
A pale-faced boy, whose home is fair,
Where the waters of Cumberland roll. On his narrow cot, in that narrow room, Where the music he hears is the sigh and the
groan, He lies through the day's long pain and gloom,
But he never makes a moan !
They hewed him down with their blades of steel,
Where the troopers charged from the camp of the
But he was not killed-although I feel,
It would have been better so;
As I sit and hold his wasted hand,
In our own dear, sunny land.
There are hours, again, in his fever's heat,
When his restless fancies fly to his home:
In the cedarn glades and the woodlawns dim; And how he carved there on many a tree,
A name that was dear to him;
Of the sweet wild roses that scatter the light,
Through the open door and the window-pane; And October's haze, on the far off height
And the quiet country lane;
And the corn rows, standing like men with spears ; Of his mother's tones, and her loving words
And his cheeks are wet with tears.
And I seem to see her, as autumn leaves
Like shadows fall in the lonely glen,
Where he shall not come again.
How the blight has stained her fairest bloom ;
Beside his northern tomb.
And I think of another, who watches too,
When the early stars are bright on the hill, Nor dreams that his heart—so confiding and true
Will soon be forever still.
Through the dreary morn and the mournful eve; And memory alone shall its solace bring,
To a thousand hearts that grieve.
My comrade will last but a little while;
For I see on every succeeding day,
Over his features play.
These walls, little better, shall shut him in;
That taketh away all sin !
And somehow I think, when our lives are done,
That this humble hero—without a name-
Of the high-born men of fame.
The crown that is his, with its fadeless bloom, Than Roderic's helm, so golden and gay,
Or Sidney's snow-white plume!
O prisoner boy! that I were as near,
As you are now to that "shining shore,” Where the waters of life and of love are clear,
And weeping shall come no more.
When He calls his weary ones home to rest, May I join with you in the angel chime
Like you, be a welcome guest !