Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.

“My home?  Why, that was burnt away,
And Pa and Ma is dead;
But now I ride the guns all day,
Along with Sergeant Ned.

“And I’ve a drum that’s not a toy,
And a cap with feathers too;
And I march beside the drummer-boy
On Sundays at review.

“But now our baccy’s all give out
The men can’t have their smoke,
And so they’re cross; why even Ned
Won’t play with me, and joke!

“And the big colonel said to-day—­
I hate to hear him swear—­
’I’d give a leg for a good smoke
Like the Yanks have over there.’

“And so I thought when beat the drum,
And the big guns were still,
I’d creep beneath the tent, and come
Out here across the hill.

“And beg, good Mr. Yankee-men,
You’d give me some Long Jack;
Please do, when we get some again,
I’ll surely bring it back.

“And so I came; for Ned, says he,
’If you do what you say,
You’ll be a general yet, maybe,
And ride a prancing bay.’”

We brimmed her tiny apron o’er,—­
You should have heard her laugh,
As each man from his scanty store
Shook out a generous half.

To kiss the little mouth stooped down
A score of grimy men,
Until the sergeant’s husky voice
Said “’Tention, squad?” and then,

We gave her escort till good-night
The little waif we bid,
Then watched her toddle out of sight,
Or else ’twas tears that hid.

Her baby form nor turned about,
A man nor spoke a word,
Until at length a far faint shout
Upon the wind we heard,

We sent it back, and cast sad eyes
Upon the scene around,
That baby’s hand had touched the ties
That brother’s once had bound.

That’s all, save when the dawn awoke: 
Again the work of hell,
And through the sullen clouds of smoke
The screaming missiles fell.

Our colonel often rubbed his glass,
And marvelled much to see,
Not a single shell that whole day fell
In the camp of Battery B.



’Twas the time of the working men’s great strike,
When all the land stood still
At the sudden roar from the hungry mouths
That labour could not fill;
When the thunder of the railroad ceased,
And startled towns could spy
A hundred blazing factories
Painting each midnight sky.

  Through Philadelphia’s surging streets
    Marched the brown ranks of toil,
  The grimy legions of the shops,
    The tillers of the soil;
  White-faced militia-men looked on,
    And women shrank with dread;
  ’Twas muscle against money then—­
    ’Twas riches against bread.

  Once, as the mighty mob tramped on,
    A carriage stopped the way,
  Upon the silken seat of which
    A young patrician lay. 
  And as, with haughty glance, he swept
    Along the jeering crowd,
  A white-haired blacksmith in the ranks
    Took off his cap and bowed.

Project Gutenberg
Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.