No bugle-call could rouse
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!”
THE OLD VETERAN.
BY BAYARD TAYLOR.
An old and crippled veteran to the War
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.”