THE SOLDIER’S DEATH.
By A. B. Cunningham.
|The night-cloud had lowered o’er Shiloh’s red plain,|
And the blast howled sadly o’er wounded and slain;
The lightning flashed vividly, fiercely and proud,
And glared thro’ the mist of the smoke and the cloud;
The thunder pealed loudly from heaven’s black sky,
Where litely the cannon had pealed the war-cry;
The last gun had been fired, and its moaning sound
Had died ’way in the distance, and echoed around.
Where the fight had raged fiercest, near a deep ravine,
At the foot of a crag (a wild, thrilling scene),
A soldier lay there all ghastly and gory,
Who’d fall’n in the strife for freedom and glory!
His life-blood was pouring from out a deep gash
He’d received ’mid the battle’s loud roar and fierce crash;
“O mother! O mother! I never thought this,
When but a mere child I received thy sweet kiss—
“That I’d die on a field all gory and red
With the blood of the wounded, the dying and dead,
With no friend or relation to cheer my dark way,
But the forms of dear comrades all lifeless as clay,
None to watch o’er me but the ghosts of the dead,
None to smooth down the death-pillow ’neath my poor head;
And sadly I think of my home in the South,
Where I roam’d a mere boy in the pride of my youth.
“When I scaled the steep crag o’er the river’s wild roar,
Or chased the fleet stag ’long the bright, sunny shore—
When I bounded in pride o’er valley and hill—
O memories, how sweet! ye haunt me now still.
But away with the thoughts of my joyous boyhood,
I’ll face the grim monster death with calm fortitude:
Then, mother, farewell! farewell, dearest mother;
Farewell to my father, sisters and brother!
“And when I am gone never utter a sigh,
But remember your Charlie reigns proudly on high!”
Then death flapp’d wildly his wings on the moor,
As his soul took its flight to a heavenly shore—
The lightning flash’d fiercely, the howling winds surge,
The thunder pealed loudly the hero’s wild dirge!