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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;
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.
Up from the South at break of day,
And wider still those billows of war
But there is a road from Winchester town,
By courtesy of J. B. Lippincott & Co.
And there, through the flash of the morning light,
Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering South,
Under his spurning feet the road
The first that the General saw were the groups
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!”
“ HE'LL SEE IT WHEN HE WAKES”
BY FRANK LEE
[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.
Stood round a youthful form
Had perished in the storm.
The coming moonlight breaks,
A tender farewell takes.
But ere they laid him in his home
There came a comrade near,
From her the dead held dear.
Then one the letter takes,
He'll see it when he wakes."
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;
Tread Mississippi's green;
The words affection speaks-
“ Will see them when he wakes."