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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 !
ETHEL LYNN BEERS.
ONLY A PRIVATE.
When I may pass away,
I mix with the common clay ?
With another as bold and brave;
Has freshened my nameless grave.
my duty well,
And then, like a soldier, fell.
My unrequited claim ;
For she never has heard my name.
When I heard the rallying-call
And ... I'm one of the many who fall :
That my honor's without a stain,-
And not for glory or gain.
Through the guises of the heart,
But the way we do our part;
And when He shall take us by the hand,
And our small service own,
MARGARET J. PRESTON (Southern).
THE FANCY SHOT. [This is the title by which this famous piece is more generally known, although“ Civil War” is perhaps the more authentic one. The poem appeared early in the war, in the London“ Once a Week,” with the caption“ Civile 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;
CHARLES DAWSON SHANLY.
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.]
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,-
And left her, stolid in my woe.
When, distant in the darksome glen,
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 ?
Where'er I go, what fate be mine,
THE BRAVE AT HOME.
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!