Poems eBook

Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 84 pages of information about Poems.

So Custer and all his fighting men
 Lay under the evening skies,
Staring up at the tranquil heaven
 With wide, accusing eyes.

And of all that stood at noonday
 In that fiery scorpion ring,
Miles Keogh’s horse at evening
 Was the only living thing.

Alone from that field of slaughter,
 Where lay the three hundred slain,
The horse Comanche wandered,
 With Keogh’s blood on his mane.

And Sturgis issued this order,
 Which future times shall read,
While the love and honor of comrades
 Are the soul of the soldier’s creed.

He said—­
    Let the horse Comanche
  Henceforth till he shall die,
Be kindly cherished and cared for
  By the Seventh Cavalry

He shall do no labor; he never shall know
  The touch of spur or rein;
Nor shall his back be ever crossed
  By living rider again

And at regimental formation
  Of the Seventh Cavalry_,
Comanche draped in mourning and led
  By a trooper of Company

Shall parade with the Regiment!_

    Thus it was
  Commanded and thus done,
By order of General Sturgis, signed
  By Adjutant Garlington.

Even as the sword of Custer,
  In his disastrous fall,
Flashed out a blaze that charmed the world
  And glorified his pall,

This order, issued amid the gloom
  That shrouds our army’s name,
When all foul beasts are free to rend
  And tear its honest fame,

Shall prove to a callous people
  That the sense of a soldier’s worth,
That the love of comrades, the honor of arms,
  Have not yet perished from earth.

The Advance Guard

In the dream of the Northern poets,
  The brave who in battle die
Fight on in shadowy phalanx
  In the field of the upper sky;
And as we read the sounding rhyme,
  The reverent fancy hears
The ghostly ring of the viewless swords
  And the clash of the spectral spears.

We think with imperious questionings
  Of the brothers whom we have lost,
And we strive to track in death’s mystery
  The flight of each valiant ghost. 
The Northern myth comes back to us,
  And we feel, through our sorrow’s night,
That those young souls are striving still
  Somewhere for the truth and light.

It was not their time for rest and sleep;
  Their hearts beat high and strong;
In their fresh veins the blood of youth
  Was singing its hot, sweet song. 
The open heaven bent over them,
  Mid flowers their lithe feet trod,
Their lives lay vivid in light, and blest
  By the smiles of women and God.

Again they come!  Again I hear
  The tread of that goodly band;
I know the flash of Ellsworth’s eye
  And the grasp of his hard, warm hand;
And Putnam, and Shaw, of the lion-heart,
  And an eye like a Boston girl’s;
And I see the light of heaven which lay
  On Ulric Dahlgren’s curls.

Project Gutenberg
Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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