Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Moustache
By Louise Imogen Guiney (1861–1920)
 
A FRIENDLESS pup that heard the fife
Sprang to the column thro’ the clearing,
And on to Switzerland and strife
    Went grenadiering.
 
Much he endured, and much he dared        5
The long hot doomsday of the nations:
He wore a trooper’s scars; he shared
    A trooper’s rations;
 
Warned pickets, seized the Austrian spies,
Bore the despatches; thro’ the forces        10
From fallen riders, prompt and wise,
    Led back the horses;
 
Served round the tents or in the van,
Quick-witted, tireless as a treadle:
“This private wins,” said Marshal Lannes,        15
    “Ribbon and medal.”
 
(“Moustache, a brave French dog,” it lay
Graven on silver, like a scholar’s;
“Who lost a leg on Jena day,
    But saved the colors!”)        20
 
At Saragossa he was slain;
They buried him, and fired a volley:
End of Moustache. Nay, that were strain
    Too melancholy.
 
His immortality was won,        25
His most of rapture came to bless him,
When, plumed and proud, Napoleon
    Stooped to caress him.
 
His Emperor’s hand upon his head!
How, since, shall lesser honors suit him?        30
Yet ever, in that army’s stead,
    Love will salute him.
 
And since not every cause enrolls
Such little, fond, sagacious henchmen,
Write this dog’s moral on your scrolls,        35
    Soldiers and Frenchmen!
 
As law is law, can be no waste
Of faithfulness, of worth and beauty;
Lord of all time the slave is placed
    Who doth his duty.        40
 
No virtue fades to thin romance
But Heaven to use eternal moulds it:
Mark! Some firm pillar of new France,
    Moustache upholds it.
 
 
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