The Ballad.

A poem by H. P. Nichols

"Come hither, little brothers,
And listen now to me,
And I will read a story
To both, while at my knee."

Then Johnnie's flag hung idly,
And Charlie hushed his drum;
To hear sweet Mary's story
The mimic soldiers come.

"'Tis of a boy no larger,
My little Charles, than you;
But he had been in battle,
And all its terrors knew.

"His father was a captain;
He had no child beside;
And while he was an infant
His mother dear had died.

"And so from camp to battle,
From fight to camp again,
Had lived, this little hero,
On many a bloody plain.

"One day, when shouts were loudest
Upon the reddened field,--
When came the victor's war-cry,
'See! see! they fly! they yield!'--

"Forth then, to seek his father,
He went with eager joy;
But with a chance ball wounded,
Low lay the fearless boy!

"The son of a brave chieftain,
He made no sigh or groan;
His father's hand yet tighter
He clasped within his own!

"And so, when strife was ended,
No more to be begun,
In conquest's very moment
Thus fell the chieftain's son."

Then John took out his feather,
And put his flag away;
And Charlie's drum was silent
Until another day.

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