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He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree

The footstep is lagging and weary; Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light,

Toward the shades of the forest so dreary.
Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves ?

Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing ?
It looked like a rifle" Ah! Mary, good-bye!”

And the life-blood is ebbing and plashing.

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 dead-
The picket 's off duty forever.

ETHEL LYNN BEERS.

The Countersign.

Alas! the weary hours pass slow,
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,

SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA.

265

Detect each harmless earthen notch,

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

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

And think of other times tha these.

66

“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.

Sherman's March to the Sea.

Our camp-fires shone bright on the mountain

That frowned on the river below,
As we stood by our guns in the morning,

And eagerly watched for the foe;
When a rider came out of the darkness

That hung over mountain and tree, And shouted, “Boys, up and be ready !

For Sherman will march to the sea!”

Then cheer upon cheer for bold Sherman

Went up from each valley and glen, And the bugles re-echoed the music

That came from the lips of the men; For we knew that the stars in our banner

More bright in their splendor would be, And that blessings from Northland would greet us,

When Sherman marched down to the sea.

Then forward, boys! forward to battle!

We marched on our wearisome way, We stormed the wild hills of Resaca

God bless those who fell on that day!
Then Kenesaw, dark in its glory,

Frowned down on the flag of the free;
But the East and the West bore our standard

And Sherman marched on to the sea.

Still onward we pressed, till our banners

Swept out from Atlanta's grim walls, And the blood of the patriot dampened

The soil where the traitor-flag falls ;
We paused not to weep for the fallen,

Who slept by each river and tree,
Yet we twined them a wreath of the laurel,

As Sherman marched down to the sea.

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Oh, proud was our army that morning,

That stood where the pine darkly towers, When Sherman said, “ Boys, you are weary,

But to-day fair Savannah is ours !"
Then sang we the song of our chieftain,

That echoed o'er river and lea,
And the stars in our banner shone brighter
When Sherman marched down to the sea.

SAMUEL H. M. BYERS. DRIVING HOME THE COWS.

267

Driving Home the Cows.

Out of the clover and blue-eyed grass

He turned them into the river-lane; One after another he let them pass,

Then fastened the meadow bars again. Under the willows, and over the hill,

He patiently followed their sober pace; The merry whistle for once was still,

And something shadowed the sunny face.

Only a boy! and his father had said

He never could let his youngest go; Two already were lying dead

Under the feet of the trampling foe.

But after the evening work was done,

And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp, Over his shoulder he slung his gun

And stealthily followed the foot-path damp,

Across the clover and through the wheat

With resolute heart and purpose grim, Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet,

And the blind bat’s flitting startled him.

Thrice since then had the lanes been white,

And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom; And now, when the cows came back at night,

The feeble father drove them home.

For news had come to the lonely farm

That three were lying where two had lain; And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm

Could never lean on a son's again. The summer day grew cool and late,

He went for the cows when the work was done; But down the lane, as he opened the gate,

He saw them coming one by one,

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Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,

Shaking their horns in the evening wind; Cropping the buttercups out of the grass,

But who was it following close behind ?

Loosely swung in the idle air

The empty sleeve of army blue;
And worn and pale, from the crisping hair,

Looked out a face that the father knew.

For Southern prisons will sometimes yawn,

And yield their dead unto life again;
And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn

In golden glory at last may wane.

The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;

For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb;
And under the silent evening skies
Together they followed the cattle home.

KATE PUTNAM OSGOOD.

Popping Corn.

And there they sat, a-popping corn,

John Styles and Susan CutterJohn Styles as fat as any ox,

And Susan fat as butter.

And there they sat and shelled the corn,

And raked and stirred the fire,
And talked of different kinds of corn,

And hitched their chairs up nigher.

Then Susan she the popper shook,

Then John he shook the popper,

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