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Tramp! tramp! o'er the greensward
That quivers below,
The fierce horses go !
With ear-rending shout,
The Cavalry Cbarge
One hand on the sabre,
And one on the rein,
In line on the plain.
The steel scabbards clank,
To a horse's hot flank: And swift is their rush
As the wild torrent's flow, When it pours from the crag
On the valley below.
Charge ! ” thunders the leader :
Like shaft from the bow
On the wavering foe.
Are gleaming in air :
Are dashed on the square. Resistless and reckless
Of aught may betide, Like demons, not mortals,
The wild troopers ride. Cut right! and cut left !
For the parry who needs ? The bayonets shiver
Like wind-scattered reeds.
Vain-vain the red volley
That bursts from the square,The random-shot bullets
Are wasted in air.
Unerring as death,-
Returns to its sheath.
The wounds that are dealt
By that murderous steel Will never yield case
For the surgeon to heal. Hurrah ! they are broken
Hurrah ! boys, they fly! None linger save those
Who but linger to die.
Rein up your hot horses
And call in your men,The trumpet sounds “ Rally
To colors !” again. Some saddles are empty,
Some comrades are slain, And some noble horses
Lie stark on the plain ; But war 's a chance game, boys,
And weeping is vain.
BY N. G. SHEPHERD.
ORPORAL Green !” the Orderly cried ;
“Here!” was the answer, loud and clear, From the lips of the soldier who stood near,And “Here !” was the word the next replied.
“Cyrus Drew !”—then a silence fell:
This time no answer followed the call ;
Only his rear-man had seen him fall: Killed or wounded-he could not tell.
There they stood in the failing light,
These men of battle, with grave, dark looks,
As plain to be read as open books,
The fern on the hill-sides was splashed with blood,
And down in the corn where the poppies grew
Were redder stains than the poppies knew : And crimson-dyed was the river's flood.
For the foe had crossed from the other side
That day, in the face of a murderous fire
That swept them down in its terrible ire, And their life-blood went to color the tide.
“Herbert Kline!” At the call there came
Two stalwart soldiers into the line,
Bearing between them this Herbert Kline, Wounded and bleeding, to answer his name.
Ezra Kerr !”—and a voice answered, “Here!” “Hiram Kerr!”—but no man replied.
They were brothers, these two; the sad winds sighed, And a shudder crept through the cornfield near.
Ephraim Deane !"—then a soldier spoke :
“Where our ensign was shot I left him dead, Just after the enemy wavered and broke.
“ Close to the road-side his body lies ;
I paused a moment and gave him a drink;
He murmured his mother's name, I think, And Death came with it, and closed his eyes.”
’T was a victory; yes, but it cost us dear,–
For that company's roll, when called at night,
Of a hundred men who went into the fight, Numbered but twenty that answered “Here!”