See The Field Of Battle Gleams.

A poem by A. H. Laidlaw

See, the field of battle gleams
Yonward past the tented streams,
There the foe is camping;
By the thirst-assuaging rill,
From the copse behind the hill
Hear his war-steeds champing.

Northern Knights and Southern Sons,
Onward to the gleaming guns!
Now's the hour of battle!
Though his files be ten to one,
Seek the foe from sun to sun,
Where his muskets rattle.

O'er the walls with slaughter wet,
O'er the ball-scarred parapet,
Daring man and missile,
Charge to meet his best or worst,
Where his shrieking bombshells burst
And his bullets whistle.

Roll in waves of living blue,
Pierce the columned centre through,
Fill the world with wonder;
Rush, as with a lion's will,
Where his lightnings flash to kill
And his cannon thunder.

Meet him with a tiger's spring,
Quicker than an eagle's wing,
Where the bayonet piercest.
When you feel the foeman's breath,
Soldier, strike for life or death,
Where the fight is fiercest.

Than a coward, proved and known,
Better be to atoms blown,
Where the doomed are dying.
Welcome death in wildest way,
But to mingle with that clay
Where the brave are lying.

Thus will Honor be our meed
For some doubly daring deed
When we end our story.
Then in graves with roses blown,
By the hands of patriots strown,
We will sleep in glory.

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