RICHMOND ON THE JAMES;
OR, THE DYING TEXAS SOLDIER BOY.
A Parody by Annie Marie Neeby.
|A soldier boy from Texas lay gasping on the field,|
When the battle’s shock was over, and the foe was forced to yield;
He fell, a youthful hero, before the foeman’s aims,
On a blood-red field near Richmond—near Richmond on the James.
But one still stood beside him—his comrade in the fray—
They had been friends together in boyhood’s happy day;
And side by side had struggled on fields of blood and flames,
To part that eve at Richmond—near Richmond on the James.
He said, “I charge thee, comrade, of the friends in days of yore,
Of the far, far distant dear ones that I shall see no more—
Tho’ scarce my lips can whisper their dear and well-known names,
To bear to them my blessing from Richmond on the James.
“Bear to my brother this sword, and the badge upon my breast
To the young and gentle sister that I used to love the best;
But one lock from my forehead give the mother still that dreams
Of her soldier boy near Richmond—near Richmond on the James.
“I wish that mother’s arms were folded round me now,
That her gentle hand could linger, one moment on my brow,
But I know that she is praying where our blessed hearthlight gleams,
For her soldier boy’s safe return from Richmond on the James.
“And on my heart, dear comrade, lay close these auburn braids,
Of one that is the fairest of all our village maids;
We were to have been wedded, but death the bridegroom claims,
And she is far that loves me, from Richmond on the James.
“O, does the pale face haunt her, dear friend, that looks on thee,
Or is she laughing, singing, in careless, girlish glee?
It may be she is joyous, and loves but joyous themes,
Nor dreams her love lies bleeding near Richmond on the James.
“And tho’ I know, dear comrade, thou’lt miss me for a while,
When their faces—all left to love thee—again on thee shall smile,
Again thou’lt be the foremost in all their youthful games,
But I shall lie near Richmond—near Richmond on the James.”
The land is fill’d with mourning from hall and cot left lone,
We miss the well-known faces that used to greet our own,
And long shall weep poor wives, mothers, and titled dames,
To hear the name of Richmond—of Richmond on the James.