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Tbe Old Sergeant

53

"Round and mighty-based it towered-up into the in

finiteAnd I knew no mortal mason could have built a shaft

so bright; For it shone like solid sunshine; and a winding stair

of light, Wound around it and around it till it wound clear out

of sight!

“And, behold, as I approached it-with a rapt and

dazzled stare, Thinking that I saw old comrades just ascending the

great stairSuddenly the solemn challenge broke of,— Halt! and

who goes there?' 'I'm a friend,' I said, “if you are.'-'Then advance,

sir, to the stair!'

“I advanced !-that sentry, Doctor, was Elijah Ballan

tyne ! First of all to fall on Monday, after we had formed the

line : •Welcome, my old Sergeant, welcome! welcome by that

countersign!' And he pointed to the scar there, under this old cloak “As he grasped my hand, I shuddered, thinking only

of mine!

of the grave;

But he smiled and pointed upward, with a bright and

bloodless glaive ; “That's the way, sir, to head-quarters.'-'What head

quarters ?'—'Of the brave.' ' But the great tower ?'-'That was builded of the great

deeds of the brave.'

“Then a sudden shame came o'er me at his uniform of

light; At my own so old and tattered, and at his so new and

bright; “Ah!' said he, you have forgotten the new uniform to

night,Hurry back, for you must be here at just twelve o'clock

to-night!'

“And the next thing I remember, you were sitting

there, and 1– Doctor—did you hear a footstep? Hark !—God bless you

all! Good-bye ! Doctor, please to give niy musket and my knapsack when

I die, To my son-my son that's coming,-he won't get here

till I die!

Tbe Old sergeant

55

“Tell him his old father blessed him as he never did

before,And to carry that old musket”-Hark! a knock is at

the door!“ Till the Union"-See! it opens !- -“ Father ! Father!

Speak once more !” Bless you !"-gasped the old gray Sergeant, and he lay

and said no more.

THE “VARUNA.”

(Sunk April 24, 1862.)

BY GEORGE H. BOKER.

WH

HO has not heard of the dauntless Varuna ?

Who has not heard of the deeds she has done? Who shall not hear, while the brown Mississippi

Rushes along from the snow to the sun?

Crippled and leaking she entered the battle,

Sinking and burning she fought through the fray ; Crushed were her sides and the waves ran across her,

Ere, like a death wounded lion at bay, Sternly she closed in the last fatal grapple,

Then in her triumph moved grandly away.

Five of the rebels, like satellites round her,

Burned in her orbit of splendor and fear; One, like the pleiad of mystical story,

Shot, terror-stricken, beyond her dread sphere.

Tbe Varuna

57

We who are waiting with crowns for the victors,

Though we should offer the wealth of our store, Load the Varuna from deck down to kelson,

Still would be niggard, such tribute to pour On courage so boundless. It beggars possession,It knocks for just payment at heaven's bright door !

Cherish the heroes who fought the Varuna ;

Treat them as kings if they honor your way; Succor and comfort the sick and the wounded;

Oh ! for the dead let us all kneel to pray !

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