HOOD’S OLD BRIGADE.

On the March.

By Miss Mollie E. Moore.

’Twas midnight when we built our fires—
We march’d at half-past three!
We know not when our march shall end,
Nor care—we follow Lee!
The starlight gleams on many a crest,
And many a well-tried blade—
This handful marching on the left—
This line is our Brigade!

Our line is short because its veins
So lavishly have bled;
The missing! Search the countless plains
Whose battles it has led;
There are those Georgians on our right,
Their ranks are thinning, too—
How in one company, they say,
They now can count but two!

There’s not much talking down the lines,
Nor shouting down the gloam;
For when the night is ’round us, then
We’re thinking most of home!

I saw yon soldier startle, when
We passed an open glade,
Where the low starlight, leaf and bough
A fairy picture made;
Nor has he uttered word since then—
My heart can whisper why—
’Twas like the spot in Texas where
He bade his love good-by!

And when, beyond us, carelessly,
Some soldier sang adieu!
My comrade here across his eyes
His coarse sleeve roughly drew;
So, scarcely sound, save trampling feet,
Is echoed through the gloom—
Because when stars are brightest, then
We’re thinking most of home!

Hush! what an echo startles up
Around this rocky hill!
Was’t shell, half-buried, struck my foot?
Or, stay—’tis a human skull!
This ridge I surely seem to know
By light of yon rising moon;
Ha! we battled here three mortal hours
One Sunday afternoon.

Last spring! See where our Captain stands,
His head drooped on his breast—
At his feet that heap of bones and earth—
You know now why his rest
Is broke off, and why his sword was
So bitter in the fray!
’Tis the grave of his only brother, who
Was killed that awful day!

Hush! for in front I heard a shot,
And then a well-known cry—
“It is the foe!” See where the flames
Mount upward to the sky!
It is the foe! Halt! Rest we here!
We wait the coming sun,
And ere these stars may shine again
A field is lost or won!

Is won! It is the “Old Brigade,”
This line of stalwart men!
The “long roll!” how it thrills my heart
To hear that sound again!
God shield us, boys! here breaks the day,
The stars begin to fade!
“Now steady here! fall in! fall in!
Forward! the ‘Old Brigade!’”