I Saw Old General At Bay

A poem by Walt Whitman

I saw old General at bay;
(Old as he was, his grey eyes yet shone out in battle like stars;)
His small force was now completely hemm'd in, in his works;
He call'd for volunteers to run the enemy's lines - a desperate emergency;
I saw a hundred and more step forth from the ranks - but two or three were selected;
I saw them receive their orders aside - they listen'd with care - the adjutant was very grave;
I saw them depart with cheerfulness, freely risking their lives.

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