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All quiet along the Potomac to-night;

No sound save the rush of the river ; While soft falls the dew on the face of the deadThe picket's off duty forever !


ONLY a private and who will care

When I may pass away,
Or how, or why I perish, or where

I mix with the common clay ?
They will fill my empty place again

With another as bold and brave;
And they'll blot me out ere the autumn rain

Has freshened my nameless grave.
Only a private—it matters not
That I did

my duty well,
That all through a score of battles I fought,

And then, like a soldier, fell.
The country I died for never will heed

My unrequited claim ;
And History cannot record the deed,

For she never has heard my name.
Only a private—and yet I know

When I heard the rallying-call
I was one of the very first to go,

And ... I'm one of the many who fall :
But as here I lie, it is sweet to feel

That my honor's without a stain,-
That I only fought for my country's weal,

And not for glory or gain.
Only a private-yet He who reads

Through the guises of the heart,
Looks not at the splendor of the deeds,

But the way we do our part;

And when He shall take us by the hand,

And our small service own,
There'll a glorious band of privates stand
As victors around the throne !


THE FANCY SHOT. [This is the title by which this famous piece is more generally known, althoughCivil Waris perhaps the more authentic one. The poem appeared early in the war, in the LondonOnce a Week,with the captionCivile Bellum," and dated From the Once United States." Its authorship is not clearly settled, but is commonly attributed to Charles Dawson Shanly, who died in 1876.]

“RIFLEMAN, shoot me a fancy shot

Straight at the heart of yon prowling vidette; Ring me a ball in the glittering spot

That shines on his breast like an amulet !" "Ah, Captain ! here goes for a fine-drawn bead; There's music around when my barrel's in

tune !" Crack! went the rifle, the messenger sped, And dead from his horse fell the ringing dra

goon. “Now, Rifleman, steal through the bushes, and

snatch From your victim some trinket to handsel first

bloodA button, a loop, or that luminous patch

That gleams in the moon like a diamond stud." "O Captain ! I staggered, and sunk on my track,

When I gazed on the face of that fallen vidette ; For he looked so like you as he lay on his back

That my heart rose upon me, and masters me yet.

“But I snatched off the trinket-this locket of gold;

An inch from the centre my lead broke its way, Scarce grazing the picture, so fair to behold,

Of a beautiful lady in bridal array."

“Ha! Rifleman, fling me the locket !'tis she,

My brother's young bride, and the fallen dragoon Was her husband Hush! soldier, 'twas Heaven's

decree; We must bury him here, by the light of the moon!

“But, hark! the far bugles their warnings unite ;

War is a virtue-weakness a sin;
There's lurking and loping around us to-night ;
Load again, Rifleman, keep your hand in!"


THE COUNTERSIGN. (There has been no little dispute as to the autkorship of this poem., The Philadelphia Press," in 1861, said it was "written by a private in Company G, Stuart's Engineer Regiment, at Camp Lesley, near Washington.But it may now be stated positively that it was written by a Con. federate soldier, still living. The poem is usually printed in a very imperfect form, with the fourth, fifth, and sixth stanzas omitted. The third line of the fifth stanza affords internal evidence of Southern origin.]

pass slow,

ALAS! the

weary hours The night is very dark and still ; And in the marshes far below

I hear the bearded whippoorwill ; I scarce can see a yard ahead,

My ears are strained to catch each sound; I hear the leaves about me shed,

And the spring's bubbling through the ground.

Along the beaten path I pace,

Where white rags mark my sentry's track ; In formless shrubs I seem to trace

The foeman's form with bending back, I think I see him crouching low :

I stop and list-I stoop and peer, Until the neighboring hillocks grow

To groups of soldiers far and near, With ready piece I wait and watch,

Until my eyes, familiar grown, Detect each harmless earthern notch,

And turn guerrillas into stone ; And then, amid the lonely gloom,

Beneath the tall old chestnut trees, My silent marches I resume,

And think of other times than these. Sweet visions through the silent night!

The deep bay-windows fringed with vine, The room within, in softened light,

The tender milk-white hand in mine ; The timid pressure, and the pause

That often overcame our speech That time when by mysterious laws

We each felt all in all to each, And then that bitter, bitter day,

When came the final hour to part; When, clad in soldier's honest gray,

I pressed her weeping to my heart; Too proud of me to bid me stay,

Too fond of me to let me go,-
I had to tear myself away,

And left her, stolid in my woe.
So rose the dream--so passed the night-

When, distant in the darksome glen,
Approaching up the sombre height

I heard the solid march of men ;

Till over stubble, over sward,

And fields where lay the golden sheaf, I saw the lantern of the guard

Advancing with the night relief.

“Halt! Who goes there?" My challenge cry,

It rings along the watchful line; “Relief !” I hear a voice reply;

Advance, and give the countersign !" With bayonet at the charge I wait

The corporal gives the mystic spell; With arms aport I charge my mate,

Then onward pass, and all is well.

But in the tent that night awake,

I ask, if in the fray I fall, Can I the mystic answer make

When the angelic sentries call ?
And pray that Heaven may so ordain,

Where'er I go, what fate be mine,
Whether in pleasure or in pain,
I still may have the countersign.

ANONYMOUS (Southern).


THE maid who binds her warrior's sash,

With smile that well her pain dissembles, The while beneath her drooping lash

One starry tear-drop hangs and trembles, Though Heaven alone-records the tear,

And fame shall never know her story, Her heart has shed a drop as dear

As e'er bedewed the field of glory!

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