Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
Southern States: Rodman’s Point, N. C.
Phœbe Carey (1824–1871)
LOADED with gallant soldiers,
  A boat shot in to the land,
And lay at the right of Rodman’s Point,
  With her keel upon the sand.
Lightly, gayly, they came to shore,        5
  And never a man afraid;
When sudden the enemy opened fire,
  From his deadly ambuscade.
Each man fell flat on the bottom
  Of the boat; and the captain said:        10
“If we lie here, we all are captured,
  And the first who moves is dead!”
Then out spoke a negro sailor,
  No slavish soul had he:
“Somebody ’s got to die, boys,        15
  And it might as well be me!”
Firmly he rose, and fearlessly
  Stepped out into the tide;
He pushed the vessel safely off,
  Then fell across her side:        20
Fell, pierced by a dozen bullets,
  As the boat swung clear and free;—
But there was n’t a man of them that day
  Who was fitter to die than he!

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