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And buzzing like bees o'er the water
The swarms of their bullets came.
In silence how dread and solemn,
With courage how grand and true, Steadily, steadily onward
The line of the shallops drew.
Not a whisper! Each man was conscious
He stood in the sight of death, So he bowed to the awful presence
And treasured his living breath.
'Twixt death in the air above them,
And death in the waves below, Through ball and grape and shrapnel
They moved — my God, how slow !
And many a brave, stout fellow,
Who sprang in the boats with mirth, Ere they made that fatal crossing
Was a load of lifeless earth.
And many a brave, stout fellow,
Whose limbs with strength were rife, Was torn and crushed and shattered —
A helpless wreck for life.
But yet the boats moved onward ;
Through fire and lead they drove, With the dark, still mass within them,
And the floating stars above.
They formed in line of battle
Not a man was out of place;
“ CORPORAL GREEN !” the orderly cried.
From the lips of the soldier who stood near ;
“ Cyrus Drew!”— theu 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 side 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 wind sighed, And a shudder crept through the cornfield near.
“ Ephraim Deane!”- then a soldier spoke :
“Deane carried our regiment's colors,” he said; “ Where our ensign was shot I left him dead, Just after the enemy wavered and broke.
“Close to the roadside his body lies;
I paused a moment and gave him drink;
He murmured his mother's name, I think, And death came with it and closed his eyes.”
'Twas 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!”
NATHANIEL GRAHAM SHEPHERD.
The winds that once the Argo bore
Have died by Neptune's ruined shrines,
Though shaped of Pelion's tallest pines.
Fair in the foam of Ægean seas,
Jason and Orpheus and Hercules.
And Priam's wail is heard no more
By windy Ilion's sea-built walls ; Nor great Achilles, stained with gore,
Shouts “ () ye gods, 't is Hector falls !” On Ida's mount is the shining snow,
But Jove has gone from its brow away ; And red on the plain the poppies grow
Where the Greek and the Trojan fought that day.
Mother Earth, are the heroes dead ?
Do they thrill the soul of the years no more? Are the gleaming snows and the poppies red
All that is left of the brave of yore ? Are there none to fight as Theseus fought,
Far in the young world's misty dawn? Or to teach as gray-haired Nestor taught ?
Mother Earth, are the heroes gone ? Gone? In a grander form they rise.
Dead? We may clasp their hands in ours, And catch the light of their clearer eyes,
And wreathe their brows with immortal flowers. Wherever a noble deed is done,
'T is the pulse of a hero's heart is stirred ; Wherever Right has a triumph won,
There are the heroes' voices heard Their armor rings on a fairer field
Than the Greek and the Trojan fiercely trod; For Freedom's sword is the blade they wield,
And the gleam above is the smile of God.
Jason may sleep the years away ;
EDNA DEAN PROCTOR.
'T is but a little way ;
I made you yesterday.
And fresh the breezes blow ;
One kiss, and now I go !”
So, in the pleasant night of June,
He lightly sails away,
Lies right across the bay.
And she sits singing on the shore
A song of pure delight ;
And he will cross the light.
The boat flies on, the song is done,
The light before him gleams ;
'T is farther than it seems.
The boat flies on, the boat flies fast;
The wind blow's strong and free ;
He sails into the sea.
And on, and on, and ever on,
The light lies just before ;
ROBERT KELLEY WEEKS.
The Song of Rorek.
'Twas on the night of Michaelmas that lordly Orloff's heir Wed with the noble Russian maid, Dimitry's daughter
With mirth and song, and love and wine, that was a royal
day ; The banners streamed, the halls were hung in black and