The Drummer Boy of Shiloh

On Shiloh’s dark and bloody ground the dead and wounded lay,
Amongst them was a drummer boy that beat the drum that day;
A wounded soldier raised him up—his drum was by his side—
He clasped his hands, and raised his eyes, and prayed before he died.

“Look down upon the battlefield, O Thou our heavenly Friend,
Have mercy on our sinful souls”—the soldiers cried, “Amen!”
For gathered ’round, a little group, each brave man knelt and cried—
They listened to the drummer boy who prayed before he died.

“Oh, Mother,” said the dying boy, “Look down from Heaven on me!
Receive me to thy fond embrace! Oh, take me home to thee!
I’ve loved my country as my God, to serve them both I’ve tried,”
He smiled, shook hands, death seized the boy who prayed before he died.

Each soldier wept then like a child—stout hearts were they and brave—
The Flag his winding-sheet! God’s Book the key unto his grave;
They wrote upon a simple board these words, “This is a guide,
To those who mourn the drummer boy who prayed before he died.”