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THE DEAD COMRADE 1
BY RICHARD WATSON GILDER
At the Burial of Grant, a Bugler Stood Forth and
Come, soldiers, arouse ye!
Another has gone;
His battles are done.
He was true, he was brave,
He feared not the grave,
Bring music and banners
And wreaths for his bier,
That Death conquered here.
Bear him home to his rest,
And over his breast
Great Captain of battles,
We leave him with Thee!
His spirit make free.
* By permission of the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Sound taps, and away!
Out light, and to bed!
Farewell, soldier dead!
BY FRANK L. STANTON
The band was playing “Dixie” when he marched, ,
marched away; An' never any likelier lad stept time to it that day; “ The finest fellow of 'em all!” I heard the town-folk
say. The band was playin Dixie" as he marched,
marched away. How fast my wild arms held him,-my boy, who would
not stay,The likeliest lad that answered to the captain's call
that day! “ The finest fellow of 'em all!” An' in the red array Of flags that rippled over them they marched my lad
away! But a mother's fears and prayers and tears were
nothing. War must slay, And the draped, deep drums were muffled as they
brought him home that day! “The finest fellow of 'em all!" I heard the town-folk
say, And his mother bendin' over him,-dead at her feet
that day! (Southern.)
THE SMALLEST OF THE DRUMS
BY JAMES BUCKHAM
When the opulence of summer unto wood and meadow
comes, And within the tangled graveyard riot old-time spice
and bloom, Then dear Nature brings her tribute to the “ smallest
of the drums," Spreads the sweetest of her blossoms on the little
In the quiet country village, still they tell you how he
died; And the story moves you strangely, more than other
tales of war. Thrice heroic seems the hero, if he be a child beside, And the wound that tears his bosom is more sad
than others far.
In the ranks of Sherman's army none so young and
small as he With his face so soft and dimpled, and his innocent
Yet of all the Union drummers he could drum most
skillfully, With a spirit-said his colonel—fit to make the dead In the charge of Chickamauga (so, beside his little
grave, You may learn the hero's story of some villager,
perchance), When his regiment sank, broken, from the rampart,
like a wave, Thrice the clangor of his drum-beat rallied to a
There he stood upon the hillside, capless, with his
shining hair Blown about his childish forehead like the bright
silk of the corn; And the men looked up and saw him standing brave
and scathless there, As an angel on a hilltop, in the drifting mist of morn.
Thrice they rallied at his drum-beat,—then the tat
tered flag went down! Someone caught it, waved it skyward for a mo
ment, and then fell. In the dust, the gore, and drabble, all the stars of
freedom's crown, And the soldiers beaten backward from the emblem
loved so well!
Then our drummer-boy, our hero, from his neck the
drum-cord flung And amid the hail of bullets to the fallen banner
Quick he raised it from dishonor; quick before them
all he sprung, And in fearless, proud defiance, waved the old flag
o'er his head!
For a minute's space the cheering, louder than the sing
ing balls. And the soldiers pressing forward, closing up their
broken line, Then the child's bright head, death-stricken, on his
throbbing bosom falls, And the brave eyes that God lighted cease with life
and soul to shine.
In the flag he saved they wrapped him; in that starry
shroud he lies, And the roses, and the lilacs, and the daisies seem to
know; For in all that peaceful acre, sleeping 'neath the sum
mer skies, There is neither mound nor tablet that is wreathed
and guarded so!
BY ELBRIDGE JEFFERSON CUTLER
“At dawn," he said, “I bid them all farewell,
To go where bugles call and rifles gleam.”
And glided into dream.