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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

Comrades, bury him under the oak,
  Wrapped in his army-blue;
He is done with the battle’s din and smoke,
  With drill and the proud review. 
And the time will come ere long, perchance,
  When our blood will thus be spilled,
And what care we if the Captain say—­
  “Only a private killed.”

For the glorious Old Flag beckons. 
  We have pledged her heart and hand,
And we’ll brave even death to rescue
  Our dear old Fatherland. 
We ask not praise—­nor honors,
  Then—­as each grave is filled—­
What care we if the Captain say—­
  “Only a private killed.”

DO THEY THINK OF US?

[October, 1861, after the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.]

Do they think of us, say—­in the far distant West—­
On the Prairies of Peace, in the Valleys of Rest? 
On the long dusty march when the suntide is hot,
O say, are their sons and their brothers forgot? 
Are our names on their lips, is our comfort their care
When they kneel to the God of our fathers in prayer? 
When at night on their warm, downy pillows they lie,
Wrapped in comfort and ease, do they think of us, say? 
When the rain patters down on the roof overhead,
Do they think of the camps without shelter or bed? 
Ah many a night on the cold ground we’ve lain—­
Chilled, chilled to the heart by the merciless rain,
And yet there stole o’er us the peace of the blest,
For our spirits went back to our homes in the West. 
O we think of them, and it sharpens our steel,
When the battle-smoke rolls and the grim cannon peal,
When forward we rush at the shrill bugle’s call
To the hail-storm of conflict where many must fall.

When night settles down on the slaughter-piled plain,
And the dead are at rest and the wounded in pain,
Do they think of us, say, in the far distant West—­
On the Prairies of Peace, in the Valleys of Rest? 
Aye, comrades, we know that our darlings are there
With their hearts full of hope and their souls full of prayer,
And it steadies our rifles—­it steels every breast—­
The thought of our loved ones at home in the West—­
On the Prairies of Peace, in the Valleys of Rest.

CHARGE OF FREMONT’S BODY-GUARD

On they ride—­on they ride—­
Only three hundred,—­
Ride the brave Body-Guard,
From the “Prairie Scouts” sundered: 
Two thousand riflemen,
Ambushed on either side,
The signal of slaughter bide: 
Ho! has the farmer-guide
Led them astray and lied? 
How can they pass the wood? 
On they ride—­on they ride—­
  Fearlessly, readily,
  Silently, steadily
Ride the brave Body-Guard
  Led by Zagonyi.

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