Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
April 9
“Stack Arms!”
By Joseph Blynth Alston
          Written in prison at Fort Delaware, Del., on hearing of the surrender of General Lee.

“STACK Arms!” I’ve gladly heard the cry
  When, weary with the dusty tread
Of marching troops, as night drew nigh,
  I sank upon my soldier bed,
And calmly slept; the starry dome        5
  Of heaven’s blue arch my canopy,
And mingled with my dreams of home
  The thoughts of Peace and Liberty.
“Stack Arms!” I’ve heard it when the shout
  Exulting ran along our line,        10
Of foes hurled back in bloody rout,
  Captured, dispersed; its tones divine
Then came to mine enraptured ear,
  Guerdon of duty nobly done,
  And glistened on my cheek the tear        15
  Of grateful joy for victory won.
“Stack Arms!” In faltering accents, slow
  And sad, it creeps from tongue to tongue,
A broken, murmuring wail of woe,
  From manly hearts by anguish wrung.        20
Like victims of a midnight dream,
  We move, we know not how nor why;
For life and hope like phantoms seem,
  And it would be relief—to die!

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