Successful Recitations eBook

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

    No bugle-call could rouse us all
      As that brave sight had done;
    Down all the battered line we felt
      A lightning impulse run;
    Up, up the hill we followed Bill,
      And captured every gun!

    And when upon the conquered height
      Died out the battle’s hum;
    Vainly ’mid living and the dead
      We sought our leader dumb;
    It seemed as if a spectre steed
      To win that day had come.

    At last the morning broke.  The lark
      Sang in the merry skies,
    As if to e’en the sleepers there
      It said awake, arise!—­
    Though naught but that last trump of all
      Could ope their heavy eyes.

    And then once more, with banners gay,
      Stretched out the long brigade;
    Trimly upon the furrowed field
      The troops stood on parade,
    And bravely ’mid the ranks we closed
      The gaps the fight had made.

    Not half the Twenty-second’s men
      Were in their place that morn,
    And Corp’ral Dick, who yester-morn
      Stood six brave fellows on,
    Now touched my elbow in the ranks,
      For all between were gone.

    Ah! who forgets that dreary hour
      When, as with misty eyes,
    To call the old familiar roll
      The solemn sergeant tries—­
    One feels that thumping of the heart
      As no prompt voice replies.

    And as in falt’ring tone and slow
      The last few names were said,
    Across the field some missing horse
      Toiled up with weary tread. 
    It caught the sergeant’s eye, and quick
      Bay Billy’s name was read.

    Yes! there the old bay hero stood,
      All safe from battle’s harms,
    And ere an order could be heard,
      Or the bugle’s quick alarms,
    Down all the front, from end to end,
      The troops presented arms!

    Not all the shoulder-straps on earth
      Could still our mighty cheer. 
    And ever from that famous day,
      When rang the roll-call clear,
    Bay Billy’s name was read, and then
      The whole line answered “Here!”



  An old and crippled veteran to the War Department came,
  He sought the Chief who led him on many a field of fame—­
  The Chief who shouted “Forward!” where’er his banner rose,
  And bore its stars in triumph behind the flying foes.

  “Have you forgotten, General,” the battered soldier cried,
  “The days of eighteen hundred twelve, when I was at your side? 
  Have you forgotten Johnson, who fought at Lundy’s Lane? 
  ’Tis true I’m old and pensioned, but I want to fight again.”

  “Have I forgotten?” said the Chief:  “my brave old soldier, no! 
  And here’s the hand I gave you then, and let it tell you so;
  But you have done your share, my friend; you’re crippled, old, and
  And we have need of younger arms and fresher blood to-day.”

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Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.