Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Soldier’s Song
ERE the dew on the valley had melted away,
Or the morning bird finish’d his earliest lay;
With battle-axe keen, and with bayonet bright,
From the home of my childhood, I march to the fight.
’Tis true in that march I shall leave far behind        5
A father that’s dear, and a mother that’s kind;
And sometimes when fiercely the winter winds rise,
My sisters in anguish may wipe their blue eyes.
When I think of the hall where so often I’ve play’d,
And the tree that has cool’d me in summer with shade;        10
The reverend old oak whose majestical form
Was ne’er wither’d by lightning nor bent by the storm;
When I think of the flocks that they nourish’d and fed,
In the sunshine of youth, ere its lustre was fled;
The tear of remembrance may steal to my cheek,        15
And my tongue for a moment my sufferings may speak:
But I go in the spirit of freedom to save,
And my fate, if I fall, is the fate of the brave;
I go where the fife wakes its melody shrill,
And the watch-fire burns bright on the brow of the hill.        20
I well know the soldier’s a pitiless lot,
And the scars on his bosom too soon are forgot;
He’s awed into silence, nor dare he complain
At the cold sleety shower or the fast-driving rain.
I go to the wilderness far in the west,        25
Where the footstep of murder the soil has oft press’d;
Where the billowy lake in the summer breeze plays,
And thirsting for carnage the red savage strays.
Then, father, and mother, and sisters, adieu!
’Tis my country I weep for remembering you;        30
The reward that I ask and the boon that I crave
Is the warrior’s renown or the patriot’s grave.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.