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Knowing God's own time is best,
For the full day-breaking!"
So the laird of Ury said,
Towards the Tolbooth prison, Where, through iron gates, he heard Poor disciples of the Word
Preach of Christ arisen!
Not in vain, confessor old,
Of thy day of trial!
Happy he whose inward ear
O'er the rabble's laughter;
And, while hatred's fagots burn,
In the world's wide fallow;
Reap the harvests yellow.
Thus, with somewhat of the seer,
From the future borrow,
Clothe the waste with dreams of grain,
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
ALL day long the storm of battle through the startled valley swept ;
All night long the stars in heaven o'er the slain sad vigils kept.
O the ghastly upturned faces gleaming whitely through the night!
O the heaps of mangled corses in that dim sepulchral light!
One by one the pale stars faded, and at length the morning broke;
But not one of all the sleepers on that field of death awoke.
On a couch of trampled grasses, just apart from all | And they robed the icy body, while
of lambent flame.
For their saintly hearts yearned o'er it in that hour of sorest need,
And they felt that Death was holy, and it sanctified the deed.
they smiled and kissed each other when their new strange task was o'er,
And the form that lay before them its unwonted garments wore.
Then with slow and weary labor a small grave they hollowed out,
And they lined it with the withered grass and leaves that lay about.
But the day was slowly breaking ere their holy work was done,
And in crimson pomp the morning again heralded the sun. then those little maidens children of our foes
Midnight came with ebon garments and a diadem Laid the body of our drummer-boy to undis
NOT ON THE BATTLE-FIELD.
"To fall on the battle-field fighting for my dear country, that
Was it nothing but the young leaves, or the would not be hard."-THE NEIGHBORS.
brooklet's murmuring flow?
O No, no, let me lie
Not on a field of battle when I die!
Let not the iron tread
Of the mad war-horse crush my helméd head;
That I have drawn against a brother's life,
His heavy squadron's heels,
And a look upon their faces, half of sorrow, half Or gory felloes of his cannon's wheels. of dread.
And they did not pause nor falter till, with throbbing hearts, they stood
Where the drummer-boy was lying in that partial solitude.
They had brought some simple garments from
I know that beauty's eye
their wardrobe's scanty store,
And two heavy iron shovels in their slender Is all the brighter where gay pennants fly,
hands they bore.
Then they quickly knelt beside him, crushing back the pitying tears,
For they had no time for weeping, nor for any girlish fears.
And brazen helmets dance,
Who on the battle-field have found a grave;
I know that o'er their bones Have grateful hands piled monumental stones. Some of those piles I've seen : The one at Lexington upon the green
Where the first blood was shed,
And to my country's independence led ;
Ay, and abroad, a few more famous still;
That looks out yet upon the Grecian seas,
That issue from the gulf of Salamis.
And thine, too, have I seen,
Thy mound of earth, Patroclus, robed in green,
Sheep climb and nibble over as they stroll,
Upon the margin of the plain of Troy.
Such honors grace the bed,
I know, whereon the warrior lays his head,
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf. And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail; And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
The conquered flying, and the conqueror's shout; And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
But as his eye grows dim,
What is a column or a mound to him?
What, to the parting soul,
The mellow note of bugles? What the roll
Where the blue heaven bends o'er me lovingly,
As it goes by me, stirs my thin white hair,
The death-damp as it gathers, and the skies
My soul to their clear depths! Or let me leave
Wife, children, weeping friends are gathered,
With kindred spirits, spirits who have blessed
The human brotherhood
By labors, cares, and counsels for their good.
AH! whence yon glare, That fires the arch of heaven?-that dark red smoke Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched In darkness, and pure and spangling snow Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round!
Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB. Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there,
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on
In proud and vigorous health; of all the hearts
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Save when the frantic wail of widowed love
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay Wrapt round its struggling powers.
The gray morn Dawns on the mournful scene; the sulphurous smoke
Before the icy wind slow rolls away,
And the bright beams of frosty morning dance
Of the outsallying victors; far behind,
War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight,
Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore,
The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean. All quiet along the Potomac to-night,
Guards, garbed in blood-red livery, surround
That force defends, and from a nation's rage
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
No sound save the rush of the river; While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead, The picket 's off duty forever.
All quiet along the Potomac to-night,
Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming; Their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon, Or the light of the watch-fires, are gleaming. A tremulous sigh, as the gentle night-wind
Through the forest leaves softly is creeping;
There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread
"O captain! I staggered, and sunk on my track,
When I gazed on the face of that fallen vidette, For he looked so like you, as he lay on his back, That my heart rose upon me, and masters me yet.
"But I snatched off the trinket, this locket of gold;
An inch from the centre my lead broke its way,
His musket falls slack; his face, dark and grim, Scarce grazing the picture, so fair to behold,
Grows gentle with memories tender,
Of a beautiful lady in bridal array."
"Ha! rifleman, fling me the locket!-'t is she, My brother's young bride, and the fallen dragoon
Was her husband Hush! soldier, 't was Heaven's decree,
But that parting was years, long years ago,
We must bury him there, by the light of the The soldiers who buried the dead away