« AnteriorContinuar »
LIGHT AFTER DARKNESS.
Light after darkness,
Strength after weakness,
Sheaves after sowing,
Joy after sorrow,
Calm after blast,
Near after distant,
Gleam after gloom,
Life after tomb;
After long agony,
Right was the pathway
THE FREE MIND.
W. L. GARRISON.
High walls and huge the body may confine,
And iron gates obstruct the prisoner's gaze, And massive bolts may baffle his design,
And vigilant keepers watch his devious ways: Yet scorns the immortal mind this base control!
No chains can bind it, and no cell inclose: Swifter than light, it flies from pole to pole,
And in a flash from earth to heaven it goes! It leaps from mount to mount; from vale to vale
It wanders, plucking honeyed fruits and flowers; It visits home, to hear the fireside tale,
Or, in sweet converse, pass the joyous hours.
OUTH Mountain towered upon our right, far off the river lay;
And over on the wooded hight we held their lines at bay.
At last the muttering guns were still; the day died slow and wan.
At last the gunners' pipes did fill, the sargeant's yarns began.
When, as the wind a moment blew aside the fragrant flood Our briarwoods raised, within our view a little maiden stood.
A tiny tot of six or seven, from fireside fresh she seemed, (Of such a little one in heaven one soldier often dreamed.)
And as we stared her little hand went to her curly head In grave salute: "And who are you?" at length the sargeant said.
"And where's your home?" he growled again. She lisped out "Who is me?
Why, don't you know? I'm little Jane, the Pride of Battery B.
"My home? Why, that was burned away, and Pa and Ma are dead,
And so I ride the guns all day along with Sargeant Ned.
"And I've a drum that's not a toy, a cap with feathers, too, And I march beside the drummer boy on Sundays at review.
"But now our 'bacca's all give out, the men can't have their smoke,
And so they're cross-why, even Ned won't play with me and joke.
"And the big colonel said to-day-I hate to hear him
He'd give a leg for a good pipe like the Yank had over there;
"And so I thought when beat the drum and the big guns were still,
I'd creep beneath the tent and come out here across the hill
"And beg, good mister Yankee man, you'd give me some Lone Jack;
Please do when we get some again I'll surely bring it back.
"Indeed I will, for Ned-says he ‘if I do what I say, I'll be a general yet, maybe, and ride a prancing bay.'"
We brimmed her tiny apron o'er; you should have heard her laugh
As each man from his scanty store shook out a generous half.
To kiss the little mouth stooped down a score of grimy
Until the sargeant's husky voice said "Tention squad," and, then
THE PRIDE OF BATTERY B.
We gave her escort, till good-night the pretty waif we bid And watched her toddle out of sight or else 'twas tears that hid
Her tiny form- -nor turned about a man, nor spoke a word Till after awhile a far, hoarse shout upon the wind we heard;
We sent it back, and cast sad eyes on the scene around; A baby's hand had touched the ties that brothers once had bound.
That's all- save when the dawn awoke again the work of hell,
And through the sullen clouds of smoke the screaming missiles fell,
Our General often rubbed his glass, and marveled much to
Not a single shell that whole day fell in the camp of Battery B.