Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
856. Carmen Bellicosum
By Guy Humphreys McMaster
    IN their ragged regimentals,
    Stood the old Continentals,
        Yielding not,
    While the grenadiers were lunging,
    And like hail fell the plunging        5
        When the files
        Of the isles,
From the smoky night-encampment, bore the banner of the rampant
        Unicorn;        10
And grummer, grummer, grummer, rolled the roll of the drummer
        Through the morn!
    Then with eyes to the front all,
    And with guns horizontal,
        Stood our sires;        15
    While the balls whistled deadly,
    And in streams flashing redly
        Blazed the fires:
        As the roar
        On the shore        20
Swept the strong battle-breakers o’er the green-sodded acres
        Of the plain;
And louder, louder, louder, cracked the black gunpowder,
        Cracking amain!
    Now like smiths at their forges        25
    Worked the red St. George’s
    And the villainous saltpetre
    Rang a fierce, discordant metre
        Round our ears:        30
        As the swift
With hot sweeping anger, came the horseguards’ clangor
        On our flanks.
Then higher, higher, higher, burned the old-fashioned fire        35
        Through the ranks!
    Then the bare-headed Colonel
    Galloped through the white infernal
    And his broadsword was swinging,        40
    And his brazen throat was ringing
        Then the blue
        Bullets flew,
And the trooper-jackets redden at the touch of the leaden        45
And rounder, rounder, rounder, roared the iron six-pounder,
        Hurling death!


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