« EelmineJätka »
Do you hear the traitors who bid you speak
The word that shall sever the sacred tie?
Has the subtle whisper glided by ?
To coasts where the gray Pacific roars,
Is pure as the wealth of their mountain ores ?
Spirits of sons who side by side
In a hundred battles fought and fell,
In the isles where the shades of heroes dwell,-
And ruffled the calm which crowns you there? The shame that recreants have confest
The plot that floats in the troubled air ?
Sons of New England, here and there,
Wherever men are still holding by
Say, do you hear the cowards' cry?
Lightly our mother heeds their noise,
But you—do you hear it, Yankee boys ?
January 19, 1863.
The endless, flat Savannahs still Wearied our eyes with waving cane.
One tangled cane-field lay before
The ambush of the cautious foe;
Behind a black bayou, with low Reed-hidden, miry, treacherous shore;
A sullen swamp along the right,
Where alligators slept and crawled,
And moss-robed cypress giants sprawled Athwart the noontide's blistering light.
Quick, angry spite of musketry
Proclaimed our skirmishers at work;
We saw their crouching figures lurk Through thickets firing from the knee.
Our Parrotts felt the distant wood
With humming, sbrieking, growling shell :
When suddenly the mouth of hell Gaped fiercely for its human food.
A long and low blue roll of smoke
Curled up a hundred yards ahead,
And deadly storms of driving lead From rifle-pits and cane-fields broke.
Then, while the bullets whistled thick,
Charge bayonets !” the colonel yelled ; “Battalion forward,—double quick !”
With even slopes of bayonets
Advanced-a dazzling, threatening crest
Right toward the rebels' hidden nest, The dark blue, living billow sets.
The color-guard was at my side ;
I heard the color-sergeant groan ;
I heard the bullet crush the bone ; I might have touched him as he died.
The life-blood spouted from his mouth
And sanctified the wicked land;
Of martyred saviors what a band Has suffered to redeem the South !
I had no malice in my mind;
I only cried : “Close up! guide right !”
My single purpose in the fight
I glanced along the martial rows,
And marked the soldiers' eyeballs burn;
Their eager faces hot and stern,The wrathful triumph on their brows.
The traitors saw; they reeled and fled :
Fear-stricken, gray-clad multitudes
Streamed wildly toward the covering woods, And left us victory and their dead.
Once more the march, the tiresome plain,
The Father River fringed with dykes,
Gray cypresses, palmetto spikes,
With here and there plantations rolled
In flowers, bananas, orange groves,
Where laugh the sauntering negro droves, Reposing from the task of old ;