Page images
PDF
EPUB

Forgive, O Lord, that we forgot

To humble self and thee to please; Our vows unkept, sins thought, unthought,

Forgive, O Lord, in days like these. Our gift upon the altar lies,

Accept it ere thou call us hence,

Although thou saidst obedience Is better than a sacrifice.

'Tis not for gain or vengeful spite

Our treasure and our life is poured, But for the wronged who have no might,

Whose cry has reached the ear of God. In days like these our motives take,

Since whom thou usest thou must trust; And when we strike because we must, Help us to heal the wounds we make.

THE TROOP-SHIP SAILS

BY ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

Is it good-by,

My lad?
No, I'll not cry.
Has the time come?
The bugle-call from the sea-wall,
The tap of drum?
My tears are dry.

Rest your head here,

My lad,
Close to me, dear;
Why do you stare?
Have pain and care made me less fair?
Are my lips white with fear?
Hark! how they cheer
Down in the Square there!

What do they care,

My lad, For this brown hair That I love so? Their drums' long roll will crush my soulAh, God! don't go!I cannot bear

There, I'll be still,

My lad,
Truly I will;
My tears are spent.
Which regiment will next be sent?
Does every bullet kill ?
Hold me until
The call is urgent !
Who spoke your name,

My lad?
The summons came
Out of the crowd!
Oh, hold me, lad! fold me, lad!
Their flag's a shroud
To bury shame!

Have they begun,

My lad?
See, the troops run!
Your eyes are wet;
You are so quiet; is there time yet?
God! It's the signal gun!
Kiss me, just one.
Run with your musket!

THE BATTLE OF CHARLESTON HARBOR

Bombardment of Fort Sumter by the fleet, April 7th,

1863

BY PAUL HAMILTON HAYNE

Two hours, or more, beyond the prime of a blithe

April day,
The Northmen's mailed Invincibles

steamed up fair Charleston Bay; They came in sullen file and slow, low-breasted on the

wave, Black as a midnight front of storm, and silent as the

grave.

A thousand warrior-hearts beat high as those dread

monsters drew More closely to the game of death across the breezeless

blue,

And twice ten thousand hearts of those who watched

the scene afar, Thrill in the awful hush that bides the battle's broad

ening star.

Each gunner, moveless by his gun, with rigid aspect

stands, The ready lanyards firmly grasped in bold, untrembling

hands, So moveless in their marbled calm, their stern heroic

guise, They looked like forms of statued stone with burning

human eyes!

Our banners on the outmost walls, with stately rust

ling fold, Flash back from arch and parapet the sunlight's ruddy

gold, They mount to the deep roll of drums, and widely

echoing cheers, And then-once more, dark, breathless, hushed, wait

the grim cannoneers.

Onward-in sullen file and slow, low glooming on the

wave, Near, nearer still, the haughty fleet glides silent as the

grave, When sudden, shivering up the calm, o'er startled flood

and shore, Burst from the sacred Island Fort the thunder-wrath

of yore!

Ha! brutal Corsairs ! though ye come thrice-cased in

iron mail, Beware the storm that's opening now, God's vengeance

guides the hail ! Ye strive, the ruffian types of Might, 'gainst Law and

Truth and Right; Now quail beneath a sturdier Power, and own a

mightier Might!

a

No empty boast! for while we speak, more furious,

wilder, higher, Dart from the circling batteries a hundred tongues of

fire; The waves gleam red, the lurid vault of heaven seems

rent above; Fight on, O knightly gentlemen! for faith and home

and love!

There's not in all that line of flame, one soul that would

not rise To seize the victor's wreath of blood, though death

must give the prize There's not in all this anxious crowd that throngs the

ancient town A maid who does not yearn for power to strike one

despot down.

The strife grows fiercer! ship by ship the proud

armada sweeps, Where hot from Sumter's raging breast the volleyed

lightning leaps;

« EelmineJätka »