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Soldier Songs and Love Songs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 25 pages of information about Soldier Songs and Love Songs.

PREFACE.

In issuing this collection of Songs, the author makes the following acknowledgments:—­

“The American Ca ira” was suggested while reading the French song of that name, from which song the phrase ca ira alone was appropriated.

In “The Song of William the Conqueror,” his characteristic oath, “By the splendor of God!” is used.

In the “Death Song of the Enfants Perdus,” a few remembered lines or fragments have been appropriated from an anonymous and almost forgotten English ballad.

“Burke of the Brave Brigade” was written in memory of the late Dennis F. Burke, the last commander of the Irish Brigade in the battle of Gettysburg.

“The Custer Wail” was composed in a dream, in 1877.

In the last two stanzas of “Marshall Ney’s Farewell,” his own language translated is used in nearly half the lines.  The first line of this poem is the expression used by Napoleon, on his voyage to St. Helena, when sighting the shore of France for the last time.

“The Lily Land of France” was suggested by the French song, “Partant pour la Syrie,” from which nothing was appropriated but the accentual movement.

Except in the above mentioned instances, the songs here collected were composed without finding a model or a suggestion in any other writer.

The “Soldier Songs” and the “Love Songs” are printed alternately.

A.H.  Laidlaw.

SONGS

CUSTER.

Foiled on the field with his dead boys around him,
  All waiting for Earth to recover her own,
Fortune hath missed him, but Glory hath found him,
  While fighting a thousand fierce foemen alone.

Custer’s the right wing, the left and the center,
  Himself is his only reserve and supply. 
This is a battle for Spartans to enter,
  Where One makes an army to conquer or die.

Straight on his steed doth he meet the grim battle,
  The red line of danger grows deadly and large,
Loud from the hills rings the rifleman’s rattle,
  But Custer is ready, so forward and charge!

Firing with left hand, and fencing with right,
  The reins in his teeth, like a handless young Hun,
What is his fate in the terrible fight? 
  The thousands hath slain him, yet Custer hath won.

His foemen still seek him in terror and wonder,
  Alive in the tempest that darkens the vale;
His charge they still fear in the echoing thunder,
  His sword in the lightning, his voice in the gale.

THE AMERICAN GIRL.

        The maid for man to love,
        All other forms above,
Is she whose home adorns the loam of this fair land of mine: 
        American in sire,
        She’s born of love and fire,
And dominates the heart of man as by a right divine.

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