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XXX.

MISSING

Not among the suffering wounded !

Not among the peaceful dead !
Not among the prisoners; — Missing!

That was all the message said.

Yet his mother reads it over,

Until through the painful tears Fades the dear name she has called him

For these two and twenty years.

Round her all is peace and plenty,

Bright and clean the yellow floor, While the morning-glories cluster

All around the kitchen door.

Soberly the sleek old house-cat

Drowses in his patch of sun; Neatly shines the oaken dresser;

All the morning's work is done.

Through the window comes the fragrance

Of a sunny, harvest morn, Fragment songs from distant reapers,

And the rustling of the corn.

And the rich breath of the garden

Where the golden melons lie,
Where the blushing plums are turning

All their red cheeks to the sky.

Sitting there within the sunshine,

Leaning on her easy chair,
With soft lines upon her forehead,

And the silver in her hair,

Blind to sunshine, dead to fragrance,

On that royal harvest morn, Thinking while her heart is weeping,

Of her noble-browed first-born.

How he left her in the spring-time,

With his young heart full of flame,
With his clear and ringing footstep,

And his light and supple frame.

How with tears his eyes were brimming,

As he kissed a last “Good Bye,”—
Yet she heard him whistling gaily

As he went across the rye.

Missing! Still a hope to cheer her;

Safe, triumphant, he may come,
With the victor army shouting,

With the clamor of the drum.

So through all the days of autumn,

In the eve and in the morn,
She will hear his quickening footsteps

In the rustling of the corn.

Or she will hush the household,

While the heart goes leaping high,
Thinking that she hears the whistling

In the pathway through the rye.

Far away, through all the autumn,

In a lonely, lonely glade,
In a dreary desolation

That the battle-storm has made,

With the rust upon his musket,

In the eve and in the morn,
In the rank gloom of the fern-leaves,

Lies her noble, brave first-born.

XXXI.

WOUNDED.

Let me lie down, Just here in the shade of this cannon-torn tree, Here, low on the trampled grass, where I may see

The surge of the combat, and where I may hear
The glad cry of victory, cheer upon cheer:

Let me lie down.

Oh, it was grand ! Like the tempest we charged, in the triumph to share: The tempest,-its fury and thunder were there; On, on, o'er intrenchments, o'er living and dead, With the foe under foot, and our flag overhead:

Oh, it was grand !

Weary and faint, Prone on the soldier's couch, ah, how can I rest With this shot-shattered head, and sabre-pierced breast ? Comrades, at roll-call, when I shall be sought, Say I fought till I fell, and fell where I fought,-

Wounded and faint.

Oh, that last charge ! Right through the dread hell-fire of shrapnel and shell, Through without faltering,-clear through with a yell, Right in their midst, in the turmoil and gloom, Like heroes we dashed at the mandate of Doom !

Oh, that last charge !

It was duty!
Some things are worthless, and some others so good
That nations who buy them pay only in blood;
For Freedom and Union each man owes a part,
And here I pay my share all warm from my heart:

It is duty!

Dying at last!
My Mother, dear Mother, with meek, tearful eye,
Farewell! and God bless you, forever and aye!
Oh, that I now lay on your pillowing breast,
To breathe my last sigh on the bosom first prest:

Dying at last!

I am no saint; But, boys, say a prayer. There's one that begins, • Our Father;" and then says,

" and then says, “ Forgive us our sins,“

Don't forget that part, say that strongly, and then
I'll try to repeat it, and you'll say, Amen!

Ah, I'm no saint!

Hark,- there's a shout! Raise me up, comrades! We have conquered, I know! Up, up on my feet, with my face to the foe! Ah! there flies the Flag, with its star-spangles bright! The promise of Glory, the symbol of Right!

Well may they shout.

I'm mustered out!

O God of our Fathers ! our Freedom prolong,
And tread down Rebellion, Oppression, and Wrong!
O Land of Earth's hope ! on thy blood-reddened sod,
I die for the Nation, the Union, and God !

I'm mustered out!

XXXII.

BARBARA FRIETCHIE.

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach-tree fruited deep,

Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall,
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall,--

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederiok town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then, Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,

She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat, left and right,
He glanced : the old flag met his sight.

6 Halt!"-the dust-brown ranks stood fast. «Fire!"-out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick as it fell from the broken staff, Dame Barbara snatched the silken scart;

She leaned far out on the window sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

“Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country's flag !” she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred

To life at that woman's deed and word.

66 Who touches a hair of yon gray head, Dies like a dog! March on !" he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet;

All day long that free flag tossed
Over the heads of the rebel host.

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