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Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet

And the blind bat's flitting startled him.

Thrice since then had the lanes been white,

And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom; And now, when the cows came back at night,

The feeble father drove them home.

For news had come to the lonely farm

That three were lying where two had lain; And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm

Could never lean on a son's again.

The summer day grew cool and late,

He went for the cows when the work was done; But down the lane, as he opened the gate,

He saw them coming one by one:

Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,

Shaking their horns in the evening wind; Cropping the buttercups out of the grass

But who was it following close behind ?

Loosely swung in the idle air

The empty sleeve of army blue;
And worn and pale, from the crisping hair,

Looked out a face that the father knew.

For Southern prisons will sometimes yawn,

And yield their dead unto life again; And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn

In golden glory at last may wane.


The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;

For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb: And under the silent evening skies

Together they followed the cattle home.

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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 wider 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;

By courtesy of J. B. Lippincott & Co.


And there, through the flash of the morning light,
A steed as black as the steeds of night
Was seen to pass as with eagle flight;
As if he knew the terrible need,
He stretched away with the utmost speed;
Hills rose and fell—but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away.

Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering South,
The dust, like smoke from the cannon's mouth;
On the tail 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 battlefield calls;
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away.

Under his spurning feet the road
Like a narrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape flowed 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 snuffing the smoke of the roaring 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,

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He dashed down the line, 'mid a storm of huzzas, And the wave of retreat checked its course there, be

cause The sight of the master compelled it to pause. With foam and with dust the black charger was gray; By the flash of his eye, and the 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! hurrah for horse and man! And when their statues are placed on high Under the dome of the Union sky, The American soldier's Temple of Fame, There with the glorious General's name, Be it said, in letters both bold and bright, “Here is the steed that saved the day By carrying Sheridan into the fight, From Winchester, twenty miles away!”




[In “ Bugle Echoes” Mr. Francis F. Browne introduces this poem with the following note: “In one of the battles in Virginia a gallant young Mississippian had fallen, and at night, just before burying him, there came a letter from his betrothed. One of the burial group took the letter and laid it upon the breast of the dead soldier, with the words : ‘Bury it with im. He'll see it when he wakes.'"]

Amid the clouds of battle-smoke

The sun had died away,

And where the storm of battle broke

A thousand warriors lay.
A band of friends upon the field

Stood round a youthful form
Who, when the war-cloud's thunder pealed,

Had perished in the storm.
Upon his forehead, on his hair,

The coming moonlight breaks,
And each dear brother standing there

A tender farewell takes.

But ere they laid him in his home

There came a comrade near,
And gave a token that had come

From her the dead held dear.
A moment's doubt upon them pressed,

Then one the letter takes,
And lays it low upon his breast-

He'll see it when he wakes."
O thou who dost in sorrow wait,

Whose heart with anguish breaks, Though thy dear message came too late,

He'll see it when he wakes."


No more amid the fiery storm

Shall his strong arm be seen;
No more his young and manly form

Tread Mississippi's green;
And e'en thy tender words of love-

The words affection speaks-
Came all too late; but oh! thy love

“ Will see them when he wakes."

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