Cleaving their foes in twain,
Piling the heaps of slain
Sabered and sundered.
Three hundred foes they slayed,
Glorious the charge they made,
Victorious the charge they made—
The gallant Three Hundred!
Let the Crown-Poet paid
Sing of the “Light Brigade”
And “The wild charge they made”
When “Some one had blundered;”
Following the British Bard,
I sing of the Body-Guard—
The Heroes that fought so hard—
Where nobody blundered.
Hail, brave Zagonyi—hail!
All hail, the Body-Guard!—
The invincible Three Hundred.
The nation calls aloud again,
For Freedom wounded writhes in pain.
Gird on your armor, Northern men;
Drop scythe and sickle, square and pen;
A million bayonets gleam and flash;
A thousand cannon peal and crash;
Brothers and sons have gone before;
A million more!—a million more!
Fire and sword!—aye, sword and fire!
Let war be fierce and grim and dire;
Your path be marked by flame and smoke,
And tyrant’s bones and fetters broke:
Stay not for foe’s uplifted hand;
Sheathe not the sword; quench not the brand
Till Freedom reign from shore to shore,
Or might ’mid ashes smoke and gore.
If leader stay the vengeance-rod,
Let him beware the wrath of God;
The maddened millions long his trust
Will crush his puny bones to dust,
And all the law to guide their ire
Will be the law of blood and fire.
Come, then—the shattered ranks implore—
A million more—a million more!
Form and file and file and form;
This war is but God’s thunder-storm
To purify our cankered land
And strike the fetter from the hand.
Forced by grim fate our Chief at last
Shall blow dear Freedom’s bugle-blast;
And then shall rise from shore to shore
Four millions more—four millions more.[CS]
[CS] There were four millions of slaves in the South when the war began.
To Horace Greeley, of date Aug. 22, 1862—“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it,” etc.
Perish the power that, bowed to dust,
Still wields a tyrant’s rod—
That dares not even then be just,
And leave the rest with God.
All-day-long the crash of cannon
Shook the battle-covered plain;
All-day-long the frenzied foemen
Dashed against our lines in vain;
All the field was piled with slaughter;
Now the lurid setting sun
Saw our foes in wild disorder,
And the bloody day was won.
Foremost on our line of battle
All-day-long a veteran stood—
Stalwart, brawny, grim and steady,
Black with powder, smeared with blood;
Never flinched and never faltered
In the deadliest storm of lead,
And before his steady rifle
Lay a score of foemen dead.