Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

XLII.

ON THE SHORES OF TENNESSEE.

“Move my arm-chair, faithful Pompey,

In the sunshine bright and strong, For this world is fading, Pompey

Massa won't be with you long;

And I faip would hear the south wind

Bring once more the sound to me, Of the wavelets softly breaking

On the shores of Tennessee.

"Mournful though the ripples murmur,

As they still the story tell, How no vessels float the banner

That I've loved so long and well.
I shall listen to their music,

Dreaming that again I see
Stars and Stripes on sloop and shallop

Sailing up the Tennessee.

* And, Pompey, while old Massa's waiting

For Death's last dispatch to come, If that exiled starry banner

Should come proudly sailing home, You shall greet it, slave no longer

Voice and hand shall both be free That shout and point to Union colors

On the waves of Tennessee."

b “ Massa's berry kind to Pompey;

But ole darkey's happy here, Where he's tended corn and cotton

For dese many a long gone year. c Over yonder Missis' sleeping —

No one tends her grave like me. Mebbe she would miss the flowers

She used to love in Tennessee.

a Slow; voice slightly tremor; with as much variety as would be given by an old man, in the circumstances. b Change the voice; ondeavor to give the full but subdued voice of a faithful slave. c Raise both hands.

d "Pears like she was watching Massa

If Pompey should beside him stay,
Mebbe she'd remember better

How for him she used to pray ,
Telling him that way up yonder

White as snow his soul would be,
If he served the Lord of Heaven

While he lived in Tennessee."

e Silently the tears were rolling

Down the poor old dusky face,
As he stepped behind his master,

In his long accustomed place.
Then a silence fell around them,

As they gazed on rock and tree
Pictured in the placid waters

Of the rolling Tennessee.

Master, dreaming of the battle

Where he fought by Marion's side,
When he bid the haughty Tarlton

Stoop his lordly crest of pride.
Man, remembering how yon sleeper

Once he held upon his knee,
Ere she loved the gallant soldier,

Ralph Vervair, of Tennessee.

Still the south wind fondly lingers

'Mid the veteran's silver hair;

Still the bondman close beside him

Stands behind the old arm- n-chair,
f With his dark-hued hand uplifted,

Shading eyes, he bends to see
Where the woodland boldly jutting

Turns aside the Tennessee.

Thus he watches cloud-born shadows

Glide from tree to mountain-crest,

From d raise the hands still more and clasping them as you utter the last stanza, raising the eyes to heaven. e Narrative style; pure voice; more animated. f Raise one hand above the eyes as if shading them while looking in the distance, step forward.

Softly creeping, aye and ever

To the river's yielding breast. g Ha! above the foliage yonder

Something flutters wild and free! “ Massa! Massa! Hallelujah!

The flag's come back to Tennessee !"

h Pompey, hold me on your shoulder,

Help me stand on foot once more,
That I may salute the colors

As they pass my cabin door.
Here's the paper signed that frees you, ,

Give a freeman's shout with me
i God and Union !' be our watchword

Evermore in Tennessee !"

j Then the trembling voice grew fainter,

And the limbs refused to stand ;
One prayer to Jesus -and the soldier

Glided to the better land.
When the flag went down the river

Man and master both were free,
While the ring-dove's note was mingled

With the rippling Tennessee.

XLIII.

BEFORE VICKSBURG.

MAY 19, 1863.

GEORGE H, BOKER.

While Sherman stood beneath the hottest fire,

That from the lines of Vicksburg gleamed, And bomb-shells tumbled in their smoky gyre, And grape-shot hissed, and case-shot screamed;

Back from the front there came,

Weeping and sorely lame,
The merest child, the youngest face
Man ever saw in such a fearful place.

ance.

g High pitch, with much animation. h Weak voice; low pitch ; slow and labored utter

i Raise the pitch; full tone. Narrative style; low and full, with measured utterance: slow tine to the close,

Stilling his tears, he limped his chief to meet,

But when he paused, and tottering stood,
Around the circle of his little feet
There spread a pool of bright, young blood.

Shocked at his doleful case,

Sherman cried, “Halt! front face! Who are you? Speak, my gallant boy!" “A drummer, sir:--Fifty-fifth Illinois." !

* Are you not hit ?" "That' nothing. Only send

Some cartridges : our men are out; And the foe press us.” “But, my little friend" • Don't mind me! Did you hear that shout ?

What if our men be driven ?

O, for the love of Heaven, Send to my Colonel, General, dear!" “But you ?” “0, I shall easily find the rear."

“I'll see to that," cried Sherman; and a drop, Angels might envy, dimmed his

eye, As the boy, toiling towards the hill's hard top, Turned round, and with his shrill child's cry

Shouted, “O, don't forget !

We'll win the battle yet!
But let our soldiers have some more,
More cartridges, sir, ----calibre fifty-four!"

XLIV.

PYRAMUS AND THISBE.

JOHN G. SAXE.

This tragical tale, which, they say, is a true one,
Is old; but the manner is wholly a new one.
One Ovid, a writer of some reputation,
Has told it before in a tedious narration;
In a style, to be sure, of remarkable fullness,
But which nobody reads on account of its dullness.

Young PETER PYRAMUS-I call him Peter,
Not for the sake of the rhyme of the meter;

But merely to make the name completer-
For Peter lived in the olden times,
And in one of the worst of pagan climes
That flourish now in classical fame,
Long before either noble or boor
Had such a thing as a Christian name-
Young Peter, then, was a nice young beau
As any young lady would wish to know;

years, I ween, he was rather green,
That is to say, he was just eighteen,
A trifle too short, a shaving too lean,

a nice young man as ever was seen, And fit to dance with a May-day queen!

In

But "

Now Peter loved a beautiful girl
As ever ensnared the heart of an earl,
In the magical trap of an auburn curl,
A little Miss Thisbe, who lived next door,
(They slept, in fact, on the very same floor,
With a wall between them and nothing more,
Those double dwellings were common of yore,)
And they loved each other, the legends say,
In that very beautiful, bountiful way,
That every young maid and every young blade,
Are wont to do before they grow staid,
And learn to love by the laws of trade.
But (a-lack-a-day, for the girl and boy!)
A little impediment checked their joy,
And gave them awhile, the deepest annoy,
For some good reason, which history cloaks, ,
The match didn't happen to please the old folks !

So Thisbe's father and Peter's mother

Began the young couple to worry and bother,
And tried their innocent passion to smother,
By keeping the lovers from seeing each other!
But who ever heard of a marriage deterred
Or even deferred
By any contrivance so very absurd
As scolding the boy, and caging the bird ?

« ElőzőTovább »