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While the grown-up women labor
Would you have us children idle,
Little hands we have, but willing;
Little hearts, but loving well
Those who fill the prisoner's cell;
Who have fallen on the field
Blazoned on our country's shield.
We have toiled with busy fingers
Many days, to gather here
With full purses to draw near.
Many great things may be done;
Since this big world was begun 1
Let the great and glorious impulse
Now astir throughout the land,
Coming with this new demand.
Ready purchase of our wares,
Won from heaven by children's prayers! Metropolitan Fair, Keie- York, April, 1864.
"ONLY A PRIVATE KILLED."
BY H. L. GORDON.
"We've had a fight," a captain said,
As he drew a long, deep breath,
When again was hushed the martial din,
And back the foe had fled,
I went to see the dead.
Though under curse and ban,
Could kill a wounded man.
A Minie ball had broke his thigh,
A frightful, crushing wound, And then with savage bayonets
They pinned him to the ground. One stab was through the abdomen,
Another through the head; The last was through his pulseless breast,
Done after he was dead.
His hair was matted with his gore,
His hands were clenched with might,
So firmly in the fight:
His bosom to defend.
My God ! it was my friend!
Think what a shudder thrilled my heart!
'Twas but the day before We laughed together merrily,
As we talked of days of yore. "How happy we shall be," he said,
"When the war is o'er, and when, The rebels all subdued or fled,
We all go home again."
Ah! little lie thought, that soldier brave.
So near his journey's goal,
To claim his Christian soul.
And hearts with grief are filled, And honor is his, though our chief shall say:
"Only a private killed!"
I knew him well, be was my friend;
He loved our land and laws;
To our country's holy cause.
When our blood will thus be spilled,
"Only a private killed!"
But we fight our country's battles,
And our hopes are not forlorn,
To millions yet unborn.
Then as each grave is filled,
"Only a private killed!"
(January 26, 1S64.)
BY PARK BENJAMIN.
I saw the soldiers come to-day
From battle fields afar;
On his triumphal car;
And banners sadly torn,
In pride and glory borne.
Those banners soiled with dust and smoke.
And rent by shot and shell,
What terrors could they tell!
In every cannon's boom.
And waited for his doom.
By hands of steel those flags were waved
Above the carnage dire,
• 'Mid battle-clouds and fire.
And kissed the breeze again, Dread tokens to the rebel foes
Of true and loyal men.
And here the true and loyal still
Those famous banners bear;
And clash the cymbals where,
With decimated ranks, they eome,
March to the beating of the drum
God bless the soldiers ! cry the folk,
Whose cheers of welcome swell; God bless the banners, black with smoke,
And torn by shot and shell! They should be hung on sacred shrines,
Baptized with grateful tears, And live embalmed in poets' lines
Through all succeeding years.
No grander trophies conld be brought
By patriot sire to son,
Brave deeds sublimely done.
And solemn joy to see
BT. CHARLES BOVNTON HOWELL.
From their labors nobly done,
Some passed from the realms of life
Mourners, in whose every heart
Alexander, brave and bold,
Nor did brave Leonidas—
Honor to the hero-slain!
They who for their country's gain,
In the nation's gloomy night,
Left their homes and firesides bright,
So that this, our favored land,
May again take up her stand
In the van of nations, where
She e'er stood through peace and war.
When war's clarion blast shall cease
Axx Arbob, January, 1864.
A SOLDIER'S LETTER.
BY MART C. HOVEY.
Dear madam, I'm a soldier, and my speech is rough
and plain; I'm not much used to writing, and I hate to give you
. pain; But I promised that I'd do it—he thought it might be
. so, If it came from one who loved him, perhaps 'twould
ease the blow— By this time you must surely guess the truth I fain
would hide, And you'll pardon a rough soldier's words, while I tell
you how he died.
'Twas the night before the battle, and in our crowded tent
More than one brave boy was sobbing, and many a knee was bent;
For we knew not, when the morrow, with its bloody work, was done,
How many that were seated there, should sec its setting sun.
'Twas not so much for self they cared, a3 for the loved at home;
And it's always worse to think of than to hear the cannon boom.
'Twas then we left the crowded tent, your soldier-boy
and I, And we both breathed freer, standing underneath the
clear blue sky. I was more than ten years older, but he seemed to
take to me, And oftencr than the younger ones, he sought my
company. He seemed to want to talk of home and those he held
most dear; And though I'd none to talk of, yet I always loved to
So then he told mo, on that night, of the time he came
away, And how you sorely grieved for him, but would not
let him stay; And how his one fond hope had been, that when this
war was through, lie might go back with honor to his friends at home
and you. lie named his sisters ono by one, and then a deep flush
came, While he told me of another, but did not speak her
And then he said: "Dear Robert, it mav be that I
shall fall, And will you write to them at home how I loved and
spoke of all?" So I promised, but I did not think the time would
come so soon. The fight was just three days ago—he died to-day at
noon. It seems so sad that one so loved should reach the
fatal bourn, While I should still be living here, who had no friends
It was in the morrow's battle. Fast rained the shot
and shell; ne was fighting close beside me, and I saw him when
he fell. So then I took him in my arms, and laid him on the
grass— 'Twas going against orders, but I think they'll let it
pass. 'Twas a Minie ball that struck him; it entered at the
side, And they did not thiuk it fatal till the morning that
So when he found that he must go, he called me io
his bed, And said: "You'll not forget to write when you hear
that I am dead? And you'll tell them how I loved them and bid them
all good-by? Say I tried to do the best I could, and did not fear to
die; And underneath my pillow there's a curl of golden
hair; There's a name upon the paper; send it to my mother's
"Last night I wanted so to live; I seemed so young
to go; Last week I passed my birthday—I was but nineteen,
you know— When I thought of all I'd planned to do, it seemed so
hard to die; But then I prayed to God for grace, and my cares are
all gone by." And here his voice grew weaker, and he partly raised
his head, And whispered, " Good-by, mother !" and so your boy
I wrapped his cloak around him, and we bore him out
to-night, And laid him by a clump of tress, where the moon
was shining bright, And we carved him out a headboard as skilful as we
could; If you should wish to find it, I can tell yon where it
I send you back his hymn-book, and the cap he used to wear,
And a lock, I cut the night before, of his bright, curling hair.
I send you back his Bible. The night before he died, We turned its leaves together, as I read it by his side. I've kept the belt he always wore ; he told me so to do: It has a hole upon the side—'tis where the ball went
through. So now I've done his bidding ; there's nothing more to
tell; But I shall always mourn with you the boy we loved
so well. —EvangtUI.
BY EDWARD S. ELLIS.
From New-England's granite mountains, From the North's resounding woods,
From the far West's flashing fountains, Pour the living human floods.
Onward sweeps the aroused nation,
Onward for their home's salvation,
Deeds, not words, make men immortal
In this grand, heroic age; lie who wills can ope the portal
To a name' on history's page.
Know ye not that revolutions
Are the throes of struggling Right?
In these national ablutions
What though but a child in learning,
While our country's fate is turning,
Some must make their names historic,'
Some must perform deeds heroic
Strike then for the truth eternal;
Strike then, for the cause is just; Strike then at the wrong infernal,
Till it bites again the dust.
Give them a shell boys! give them a shell I
They are coming over the hill; You can see their widening columns swell;
You can hear their bugles trill. Give them a shell, boys! Aim her straight!
Ready! Pull lanyard! Off she goes! Hear her skurry and scream in hate.
Pouff 1 She's done for a dozen foes!
Give them grape, boys ! give them grape!
They are coming a little too near. Each dusky bulk is gaining a shape,
And their tramp is loud and clear.
Give them grape, boys! Steady! Fire!
Now, boys, go to work with a will! Sight that gun a little bit higher.
Bight!—a gap that twenty can fill!
Give them lead, boys! give them lead!
Up with the infuntry! Load, boys, load! Where's Joe Lane? Poor fellow ! he's dead;
Many of us must travel his road! Give them lead, boys! On they come,
With columns massed in a fierce attack. Think of your dear ones safe at home!
Stand by your guns, boys! Drive them back!
Give them steel, boys! give them steel!
They fight like devils! At them again! Their charge is broken ! they pause, they reel!
After them, boys, with might and main! Give them Bteel, boys! See how they run!
I'm hit—just here—but never mind me. Lay me down by the side of that gun,
And after the rest with a three times three!
Give them a cheer, boys! give them a cheer!
Let them know we have won the fight! I'm dying now; you can bury me here.
Dig deep, boys, and do it to-night. There's one at home—you can give her my sword,
(You know whom I mean,) and say that I Have always been true to my plighted word—
For my country and her I am glad to die.
A. A. A.
BY MRS. C. J. MOORE.
On Newbern's bloody battle-ground,
Bold as a crusade knight,
All eager for the fight.
"Forward, my men, my comrades brave I"
And, ever foremost, on he pressed;
Our ranks held firm and true, Though volley after volley poured
And thinned us through and through.
Well done, my boys, the day is ours!
Like veterans you've fought 1" Another crash of musketry;
The day was dearly bought:
For there, upon the accursed soil,
Our young Lieutenant lay;
His life-blood ebbed away.
Loud rang his voice, as clarion clear
And " forward !" is our battle-cry,
Until the Union is restored,
WHAT THE BIRDS SAID.
BY JOHN O. WHITTIER.
The birds, against the April wind,
Flew Northward, singing as they flew;
They sang: "The land we leave behind
"0 wild-birds! flying from the South,
What saw and heard ye, gazing down?"
"We saw the mortar's upturned mouth, The sickened camp, the blazing town
"Beneath the bivouac's starry lamps,
We saw your march-worn children die; In shrouds of mos9, in cypress swamps, We saw your dead uncoffined lie.
"We heard the starving prisoner's sighs; And saw, from line and trench, your sons Follow our flight with home-sick eyes Beyond the battery's smoking guns."
"And heard and saw ye only wrong
And pain," I cried, " 0 wing-worn flocks?"
"We heard," they sang, " the freedman's song, The crash of slavery's broken locks!
"We saw from new, uprising States
The treason-nursing mischief spurned,
"O'er dusky faces, seamed and old,
And hands horn-hard with unpaid toil,
"And, struggling up through sounds accursed,
It filled the listening heavens with prayer.
"And sweet and far, as from a star,
Replied a voice which shall not cease,
So to me, in a doubtful day
Of chill and slowly-greening spring,
Low stooping from the cloudy gray,
They vanished in the misty air,
The song went with them in their flight •
But lo! they lea the sunset fair,
DOWN BY THE RAPIDAN.
How, like a dream of childhood, the sweet May-day goes by! J J
A golden brightness gilds the air, a rose-flush paints the sky; r
And the southern winds come bearing in their freights o/ rare perfume 6
From the far-off country valleys, where the spring flowers are in bloom.
We sit beneath the windows and watch the evening
sun, And count the silver rain-drops, descending one by
. one. The very town seems silenced in a soft, delicious calm. How different is the scene to-night down by the Rapidan 1
Down by the rushing Rapidan, hark! how the muskets crack!
The battle-smoke rolls up so thick, the very heavens are black.
No blossom-scented winds are there, no drops of silver rain;
The air is thick with sulphurous heat, and filled with moans of pain.
Oh ! let us not forget them—our brave, unselfish boys— Who have given up their loved ones, their happy
household joys, And stand to-night in rank and file, determined to a
man, To triumph over treason, down by the Rapidan!
And let our hearts be hopeful; our faith, unwavering,
strong; Rigid must be all-victorious when battling with the
Wrong. Let us bear up our heroes' hands! Pray, every soul
that can, "God bless our boys who fight to-night down by the