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Cavalry song

253

Each carbine sends its whizzing ball ;
Now, cling ! clang ! forward all,

Into the fight!

Dash on beneath the smoking dome;

Through level lightnings gallop nearer!
One look to heaven! No thoughts of home:
The guidons that we bear are dearer.

Charge!
Cling! clang ! forward all,
Heaven help those whose horses fall !

Cut left and right!

They flee before our fierce attack !

They fall! they in broken surges !
Now, comrades, bear our wounded back,
And leave the foeman to his dirges.

Wheel !
The bugles sound the swift recall ;
Cling ! clang! backward all !

Home, and good-night!

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OUR

UR bugles sound gayly. To horse and away !

And over the mountains breaks the day ;
Then ho! brothers, ho! for the ride or the fight,
There are deeds to be done ere we slumber to-night!

And whether we fight or whether we fall
By sabre-stroke or rifle-ball,
The hearts of the free will remember us yet,
And our country, our country will never forget!

Then mount and away ! let the coward delight
To be lazy all day and safe all night;
Our joy is a charger, flecked with foam,
And the earth is our bed and the saddie our home;

And whether we fight, etc.

See yonder the ranks of the traitorous foe,
And bright in the sunshine bayonets glow !
Breathe a prayer, but no sigh; think for what you would

fight; Then charge ! with a will, boys, and God for the right ! And whether we fight, etc.

Cavalry Song

255

We have gathered again the red laurels of war ;
We have followed the traitors fast and far ;
But some who rose gayly this morn with the sun
Lie bleeding and pale on the field they have won !

But whether we fight, etc.

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H

ARK! the rattling roll of the musketeers,

And the ruffled drums, and the rallying cheers, And the rifles burn with a keen desire Like the crackling whips of a hemlock fire, And the singing shot and the shrieking shell And the splintered fire on the shattered hell, And the great white breaths of the cannon smoke As the growling guns by batteries spoke ; And the ragged gaps in the walls of blue Where the iron surge rolled heavily through, That the Colonel builds with a breath again As he cleaves the din with his Close up, men ! And the groan torn out from the blackened lips, And the prayer doled slow with the crimsoned drips, And the beaming look in the dying eye As under the cloud the stars go by, But his soul marched on !" the Captain said, For the Boy in Blue can never be dead !

The Cavalry Cbarge

257

And the troopers sit in their saddles all
Like statues carved in an ancient hall,
And they watch the whirl from their breathless ranks,
And their spurs are close to the horses' flanks,
And the fingers work of the sabre hand-
Oh, to bid them live, and to make them grand !
And the bugle sounds to the charge at last,
And away they plunge, and the front is passed !
And the jackets blue grow red as they ride,
And the scabbards too, that clank by their side,
And the dead soldiers deaden the strokes iron-shod
As they gallop right on o’er the plashy red sod-
Right into the cloud all spectral and dim,
Right up to the guns black-throated and grim,
Right down on the hedges bordered with steel,
Right through the dense columns—then Right

about wheel !
Hurrah! a new swath through the harvest again!
Hurrah for the Flag! To the battle, Amen!

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