free web hosting | free hosting | Business Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting

Poetry


At Fort Pillow
By James R. Randall
CHARLESTON MERCURY
April 30, 1864
 p. 2, c. 2
Written at Wilmington, April 25

You shudder as you think upon
The carnage of the grim report -
The desolation when we won
The inner trenches of the fort.

But there are deeds you may not know
That scourge the pulses into strife;
Dark memories of deathless woe
Pointing the bayonet and knife.

The house is ashes, where I dwelt
Beyond the mighty inland sea;
The tombstones shattered where I knelt
By that old Church in Pointe Coupee.

The Yankee fiend! that came with fire,
Camped on the consecrated sod,
And trampled in the dust and mire
The Holy Eucharist of God!

The spot where darling mother sleeps,
Beneath the glimpse of yon sad moon,
Is crushed with splintered marble heaps
To stall the horse of some dragoon!

God! when I ponder that black day,
It makes my frantic spirit wince -
I marched - with Longstreet - far away,
But have beheld the ravage since.

The tears are hot upon my face
When thinking what bleak fate befell
The only sister of our race -
A thing too horrible to tell.

They say that, ere her senses fled,
She rescue of her brothers cried;
Then feebly bowed her stricken head,
Too pure to live thus - so she died.

Two of those brothers heard no plea,
With their proud hearts forever still -
John shrouded by the Tennessee,
And Arthur there at Malvern Hill.

But I have heard it everywhere
Vibrating like a passing knell;
'Tis as perpetual as the air
And solemn as a funeral bell.

By scorched lagoon and murky swamp
My wrath was never in the lurch;
I've killed the picket in his camp
And many a pilot on his perch.

With deadly rifle, sharpened brand,
A week ago, upon my steed,
With Forrest and his warrior band
I made the hell hounds writhe and bleed.

You should have seen our leader go
Upon the battle's burning marge,
Swooping like falcon on the foe,
Heading the grey line's iron charge!

All outcasts from our ruined marts,
We heard th' undying serpent hiss,
And in the desert of our hearts
The fatal spell of Nemesis.

The Southern yell rang loud and high
The moment that we thundered in,
Smiting the demons hip and thigh,
Cleaving them to the very chin.

My right arm bared for fiercer play,
The left one held the rein in slack;
In all the fury of the fray
I sought the white man, not the black.

The dabbled clots of brain and gore
Across the swirling sabres ran;
To me each brutal visage bore
The front of one accursed man.

Throbbing along the frenzied vein,
My blood seemed kindled into song -
The death-dirge of the sacred slain,
The slogan of immortal wrong.

It glared athwart the dripping glaives,
It blazed in each avenging eye -
The thought of desecrated graves
And some lone sister's desperate cry.

 

A Christmas Rhyme
By Carrie Bell Sinclair
SAVANNAH (Georgia) REPUBLICAN
December 31, 1863, p. 1, c. 4

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
I would weave a joyous lay
For the loved ones who are absent
On this holy Christmas day;
For the brave who are in battle
I would breathe a holy prayer,
Oh! Father, in thy mercy,
Shield the loved ones that are there!

Blessings on the war-worn soldiers
Marching through the winter rain,
Health to the patient sufferer
On his weary couch of pain.
Can the heart at home be merry
While our war-stained banner waves
On a distant field of battle,
O'er so many new made graves?

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Oh!  such a mockery.
Bring no costly Christmas token
Twine no festive wreath for me;
Only bring me welcome tidings
Of the dear ones far away,
Of one - oh! he is lonely
In his prison home today.

There no smiling faces greet him,
And no kindly voice to cheer;
Not a sound of mirth or gladness
Making merry Christmas there;
While the hearth at home is lonely,
Dimmed is all the household joy;
For the loved ones there are thinking
Of the absent soldier boy.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Oh! hearts so light and gay,
Have you bought a single token
For some suffering one today?
Do you miss, amid glad greetings,
The one who is not here
And wish him Merry Christmas!
Though it cannot reach his ear?

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Still the glad sound ringeth out;
For each guileless little prattler
Has caught the joyous shout;
Here, too, little hands are busy,
Playing with a Christmas toy,
While the mother smiles in blessings
On her darling little boy.

'Tis not merry Christmas to her,
Nor the father far away;
He would give the world to bless her
And his little boy to-day!
By the campfire he sits dreaming,
Thinking of the cheerful light
That will burn upon the hearthstone
In his distant home tonight.

There are eyes that watch with weeping
On this holy Christmas day;
Thinking only of the loved ones,
Of the loved ones far away;
There are hearts now sadly pining
For an absent one to come;
Leaving hopes for his smiles of gladness
To make sunshine in their home.

Ah! It may be Merry Christmas
To the happy and the gay,
Who have no loved one in battle
On this holy Christmas day;
But a shadow dark is creeping
Over many a household wall,
Where the gloom of sorry hangeth
Like a mournful funeral pall.

They have gathered holly berries
And the evergreen so bright,
And garlands they are twining
For the walls at home tonight;
But my thoughts will sadly wander
To another land than ours,

And the cypress wreath be woven
Amid all my Christmas flowers.

Savannah, Ga. December 25th, 1863.


Christmas 1864
By Montague
MOBILE REGISTER AND ADVERTISER
December 25, 1864, p. 2, c. 2

Christmas time has come again,
But ah! where are the merry chimes
Which on the air their glad refrain
Rang forth in other happier times?

Where now the gladsome youthful throng,
Who "Merry Christmas" used to greet,
With merry laugh and joyous song,
In every house, in every street?

Where now that soul-inspiring sight
When "Santa Claus" disclosed his treasure,
Of youthful faces beaming bright
With thankful love, delight and pleasure?

Where now the merry ringing laugh,
As friend meets friend on Christmas morning,
The friendly "Christmas nog" to quaff,
All thoughts of gloom or care ignoring?

The bells hang silent in their towers,
Our country mourns her valiant dead;
E'en happy Childhood, trembling cowers,
Responsive to a nameless dread!

E'en Santa Claus must not be named,
His stores are scant, his servants scattered
His sturdy limbs are hacked and maimed,
His cheerful visage worn and battered.

When friend meets friend, a heaving sigh
The merry laugh of yore replaces,
They sadly pass each other by,
Resolve marked on their war worn faces.

Thou God, who on the day did'st give
Thy only Son to save mankind,
Thou by whose power and grace we live,
In whom we hope and comfort find;

Ah, teach our cruel, heartless foe
To leave us what to us belongs,
And to their homes contented go,
And cease henceforth in heaping wrongs

Upon a people who would fain
In peace enjoy their peaceful homes,
And in their native land remain
Amid their sires' and grandsires' tombs.

And teach us Lord, our lot to bear
With truly Christian resignation,
That we have sinned, we're well aware,
And merited this visitation.

But judge us leniently, Oh Lord,
And bless our arms in Freedom's cause;
Teach us to seek Thy holy word
And be subservient to Thy laws;

And grant us grace to persevere
In Freedom's cause while life remains;
Teach us, Oh Lord, to banish fear,
To bear with loss, to smile at pain;

And bless our martyred patriots brave
Who in the cause of right were slain,
And grant, we all beyond the grave
May in Thy mansions meet again.


COMPANY K
Anonymous

There is a cap in the closet,
Old, tattered, and blue -
Of very slight value,
It may be, to you;
But a crown, jewel studded,
Could not buy it today,
With its letters of honor:
Brave "Co. K."

The head that it sheltered
Needs shelter no more;
Dead heroes make holy
The trifles they wore;
So, like chaplet of honor,
Of laurel and bay,
Seems the cap of the soldier,
Marked "Co. K."

Bright eyes have looked calmly
Its visor beneath,
O'er the work of the Reaper,
Grim Harvester Death!
Let the muster roll meagre,
So mournfully say,
How foremost in danger
Went "Co. K."

Whose footsteps unbroken
Came up to the town,
Where rampart and bastion
Looked threat'ningly down!
Who, closing up breaches,
Still kept on their way,
Till, guns downward pointed,
Faced "Co. K."

Who faltered or shivered?
Who shunned battle stroke?
Whose fire was uncertain?
Whose battle line broke?
Go, ask it of History
Years from today,
And the record shall tell you:
Not "Co. K."

Though my darling is sleeping
Today with the dead,
And daisies and clover
Bloom over his head,
I smile through my tears
As I lay it away -
That battle-worn cap,
Lettered "Co. K."

THE COPPERHEADS
Author Unknown
THE POUGHKEEPSIE EAGLE
July 28, 1863

Who are the men that clamor most
Against the war, its cause and cost,
And who Jeff Davis sometimes toast?
The Copperheads.

Who, when by wretched whiskey tight,
Hiss out in rage their venomed spite,
Who crawl and sting, but never fight?
The Copperheads.

Who hold peace meetings, where they pass
Lengthy resolves of wind and gas,
Much like the bray of Balaam's ass?
The Copperheads.

Who, when false faction is forgot,
When patriots keep a common thought,
Have discord and dissension taught?
The Copperheads.

Who swear by bondage, and would see
Rather their country lost than free,
Who dread the name of Liberty?
The Copperheads.

Who hate a freedom-loving press,
The truth, and all who it profess,
Who don't believe in our success?
The Copperheads.

And who, when Right has won the day,
Will take their slimy selves away,
And in their dirty holes will stay?
The Copperheads.

And who will be the hiss and scorn
Of generations yet unborn,
Hated, despised, disgraced, forlorn?
The Copperheads.

The Copperheads were Northern Democrats opposed to the Union's war policy.  They favored a negotiated peace with the Confederate States Of America.  United States President Abraham Lincoln assumed strong executive powers in suppressing them, including their arrests, suspension of the press, suspension of habeas corpus, and censorship.  Copperhead organizations included the Knights of the Golden Circle, Order of American Knights, and Sons of Liberty.  The main strongholds of the Copperhead movement were in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana."  As this poem expresses rather dramatically, the Copperheads were looked on by Northerners as traitors, cowards, and Southern sympathizers.

 

The Creeds of the Bells

How sweet the chime of the Sabbath bells!
Each one its creed in music tells
In tones that float upon the air
As soft as song, as sweet as prayer,
And I will put in simple rhyme
The language of the golden chime.
My happy heart with rapture swells
Responsive to the bells, sweet bells.

"Ye purifying waters swell!"
In mellow tones rang out a bell;
"Though faith alone in Christ can save,
Man must be plunged beneath the wave,
To show the world unfaltering faith
In what the Sacred Scripture saith;
Oh, well! ye rising water, swell!"
Pealed out the clear-toned Baptist bell.

"O, heed the ancient landmarks well!"
In solemn tones exclaimed a bell.
"No progress made by mortal man
Can change the just, eternal plan;
With God there can be nothing new;
Ignore the false, embrace the true,
While all is well! is well! is well!"
Pealed out the good old Dutch church bell.

"In deeds of love excel! excel!"
Chimed out from ivied towers a bell.
"This is the church not built on sands,
Emblem of one not built with hands;
Its forms and sacred rites revere -
Come worship here! come worship here!
Its rituals and faith excel!"
Chimed out the Episcopalian bell.

"No faith alone, but works as well,
Must test the soul!" said a soft bell.
"Come here and cast aside your load!
And work your way along the road
With faith in God and faith in man,
And hope in Christ, where hope began.
Do well! do well! do well! do well!"
Rang out the Unitarian bell.

"To all the truth we tell, we tell!"
Shouted in ecstacies, a bell.
"Come all ye weary wanders, see!
Our Lord has made salvation free!
Repent, believe, have faith, and then
Be saved! and praise the Lord! Amen!
Salvation’s free! we tell! we tell!"
Shouted the Methodistic bell.

"Farewell! farewell! base world, farewell!"
In touching tones exclaimed a bell.
"Life is a boon to mortals given,
To fit the soul for bliss in heaven.
Do not invoke the avenging rod.
Come here and learn the way to God.
Say to the world, ‘farewell! farewell!’"
Pealed forth the Presbyterian bell.

"In after life there is no hell!"
In raptures rang a cheerful bell.
"Look up to heaven this holy day,
When angels wait to lead the way.
There are no fires, no fiends to blight
The future life; be just and right.
No hell! No hell! No hell! No hell!"
Rang out the Universalist bell.

"The Pilgrim Fathers heeded well
My cheerful voice!" pealed forth a bell.
"No fetters here to clog the soul,
No arbitrary creed control
The free heart and progressive mind
That leave the dusty paths behind.
Speed well! speed well! speed well! speed well!"
Pealed forth the Independent bell.

"No pope, no pope, to doom to hell
The Protestant!" rang out a bell.
"Great Luther left his fiery zeal
Within the hearts that truly feel
What loyalty to God swill be
The faulty that makes men free,
No images where incense fell!"
Rang out old Martin Luther’s bell.

"Find rest! find rest! find rest! find rest!
Upon our Holy Mother’s breast,
From wearying strifes that never cease,
The mother church gives rest and pace.
Come, penitents, your sins confess
Where white-robed priests the faithful bless,
Where sacred Masses peal and swell!"
Deep tolled d the Roman Catholic bell.

Neatly attired, in manner plain,
A pilgrim see - no spot, no satin -
Slowly, with soft and measured tread,
In Quaker garb - no white, no red -
To passing friend I hear him say,
"Here worship thou, this is the way;
No churchly form, it is not well;
No bell - no bell - no bell - no bell."


Dead
Author Unknown
THE HARTFORD COURIER

There's an empty seat where the old folks meet
When they offer their evening prayer;
And a look forlorn, for the dear one gone,
As they gaze on his vacant chair.

There's a silent grief finds never relief,
And a face whence the bloom has fled,
And a maiden fair, in her beauty rare,
Who weeps for her lover - dead.

There's a lonely grave where a soldier brave,
Lies asleep in the southern land,
While a rusted gun still gleams in the sun,
On the parched and burning sand.

There's a home above where the good God's love,
Its perfection ever discloses -
Where the soldier is blest with eternal rest,
And his quiet spirit reposes.


ENLISTED TODAY

Anonymous

I know the sun shines, and the lilacs are blowing,
And the summer sends kisses by beautiful May -
Oh! to see all the treasures the spring is bestowing,
And think my boy Willie enlisted today.

It seems but a day since at twilight, low humming,
I rocked him to sleep with his cheek upon mine,
While Robby, the four-year old, watched for the coming
Of father, adown the street's indistinct line.

It is many a year since my Harry departed,
To come back no more in the twilight or dawn:
And Robby grew weary of watching, and started
Alone on the journey his father had gone.

It is many a year - and this afternoon sitting
At Robby's old window, I heard the band play,
And suddenly ceased dreaming over my knitting,
To recollect Willie is twenty today.

And that, standing beside him this soft May-day morning,
And the sun making gold of his wreathed cigar smoke,
I saw in his sweet eyes and lips a faint warning,
And choked down the tears when he eagerly spoke:

"Dear mother, you know how these Northmen are crowing,
They would trample the rights of the South in the dust,
The boys are all fire; and they wish I were going..."
He stopped, but his eyes said. "Oh, say if I must!"

I smiled on the boy, though my heart it seemed breaking,
My eyes filled with tears, so I turned them away,
And answered him, "Willie, 'tis well you are waking -
Go, act as your father would bid you, today!"

I sit in the window, and see the flags flying,
And drearily list to the roll of the drum,
And smother the pain in my heart that is lying
And bid all the fears in my bosom be dumb.

I shall sit in the window when summer is lying
Out over the fields, and the honey-bee's hum
Lulls the rose at the porch from her tremulous sighing,
And watch for the face of my darling to come.

And if he should fall - his young life he has given
For freedom's sweet sake; and for me, I will pray
Once more with my Harry and Robby in Heaven
To meet the dear boy who enlisted today.


EPISTLE TO THE LADIES
By W.E.M.
Of General Lee's Army

Ye Southern maids and ladies fair,
Of whatsoe'r degree,
A moment stop - a moment spare -
And listen unto me.

The summer's gone, the frosts have come,
The winter draweth near,
And still they march to fife and drum -
Our armies! do you hear?

Give heed then to the yarn I spin,
Who says that it is coarse?
At your fair feet I lay the sin,
The thread of my discourse.

To speak of shoes, it boots not here;
Our Q.M.'s, wise and good,
Give cotton calf-skins twice a year
With soles of cottonwood.

Shoeless we meet the well-shod foe,
And bootless him despise;
Sockless we watch, with bleeding toe,
And him sockdologise!

Perchance our powder giveth out,
We fight them, then, with rocks;
With hungry craws we crawfish not,
But, then, we miss the socks.

Few are the miseries that we lack,
And comforts seldom come;
What have I in my haversack?
And what have you at home?

Fair ladies, then, if nothing loathe,
Bring forth your spinning wheels;
Knit not your brow - but knit to clothe
In bliss our blistered heels.

Do not you take amiss, dear miss,
The burden of my yarn;
Alas! I know there's many a lass
That doesn't care a darn.

But you can aid us if you will,
And heaven will surely bless
And Foote will vote to foot a bill
For succouring our distress.

For all the socks the maids have made,
My thanks for all the brave;
And honoured be your pious trade,
The soldier's sole to save.


Oh! He's Nothing But a Soldier
By A Young Rebelle, Esq.
THE RICHMOND WHIG
June 4, 1863, p. 1, c. 3

"Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,"
But he's coming here tonight,
For I saw him pass this morning,
With his uniform so bright.
He was coming in from picket,
Whilst he sung a sweet refrain,
And he kissed his hand at some one
Peeping through the window pane.

Ah! he rode no dashing charger
"With a black and flowing mane,"
But his bayonet glistened brightly,
As the sun lit up the plain.
No waving plume or feather
Flashed its crimson in the light -
He belonged to the Light Infantry,
And he came to war- to fight.

"Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,"
His trust is in his sword -
To carve his way to glory,
Through the servile Yankee horde.
No pompous pageant heralds him,
No sycophants attend,
In his belt you see his body guard -
His tried and trusty friend.

"Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,"
And a stranger in our land;
His home is in the sunny South,
By the blue Gulf's golden strand.
But I wish I knew his people,
Some little of his past,
For father's always telling me
About our "social caste".

"Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,"
But his eyes are very fine,
And I sometimes think, when passing,
They are piercing into mine.
Pshaw! "He's nothing but a soldier,"
Come, let me be discreet;
But really, for a soldier,
His toilet's very neat.

"Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,"
But last night he came to tea -
What an interesting soldier -
But then, he's rather free.
'Twas two o'clock this morning,
Before he took his leave;
He has my ring - the fellow!
But what's the use to grieve?

He has been again to see us,
The "gentleman" in grey;
He calls to see us often -
Our house is on his way
At times he sadly seeks the shade
Of yonder grove of trees,
I watched him once - this soldier -
I saw him on his knees.

One day last week I asked him
To tell me of his home.
He answered, pointing to his camp,
"Where'er these brave ones roam."
I asked him once to tell me
Of his mother, sister dear;
A funeral cortege passed along -
Said he, "You have them here."

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
But this I know right well,
He has a heart of softness
Where tender virtues dwell;
For once when we were talking,
And no one else was near,
I saw him very plainly
Try to hide a startling tear.

We are speaking of Manassas,
Of that first great bloody day,
When a handful of our "bra'e ones"
Held the Yankee hosts at bay.
'Twas here he lost his aged sire,
While fighting by his side;
He sleeps beneath the crimson turf,
Where roil'd that bloody tide.

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
But within that eye so clear,
There lurks no craven spirit,
No timid glance of fear;
For though at pity's pleading
It can melt with tender light,
I've seen it flash like lightning
Across the brow of night.

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
Such as pass us every day.
He calls them "Ragged Devils,"
But you know that's just his way.
But there is one thing very funny,
One thing I can't explain
That when this soldier goes away,
I wish him back again.

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
And a stranger yet to fame;
But they tell me in the army,
That the "Boys" all know his name;
The Yankees, too, have heard it,
They dread his battle shout;
They have no wish to meet him,
This dreaded Southern scout.

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
Yet you'd call his features good;
That cut he got at West Point,
While fighting under Hood.
He has a halting in his gait,
A trifle in the knee;
He brought it back from Sharpsburg,
Where he went with General Lee.

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
But his triumphs are not few;
He has seen our glorious battle flag
In all its trials through;
At Seven Pines he followed it,
On the heights at Gaines' Mill;
At Williamsburg, at West Point,
In the smoke of Malvern Hill.

Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,
But, then, its very queer -
I feel somehow when absent
I'd rather have him near.
He's gone to meet the foeman,
To stay his bloody track -
O! Heaven shield the soldier,
O, God, let him come back!

He is back again, this soldier,
With his eyes so deep and clear,
And his voice like falling waters,
Maketh music to my ear.
One empty coat-sleeve dangles,
Where once a stout arm grew,
But this soldier says, in hugging
He has no use for two.

"Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,"
And I know that on his form
He bears the scars of conflict
And of many a battle storm.
But I wouldn't give this soldier,
In his simple, humble home,
For all your perfumed monkeys,
That strut about the town.

He is back again, this soldier;
He is sitting by my side,
Tomorrow, ho! for Texas
With his young Virginia bride.
True, "he's nothing but a soldier,"
But I'm now his loving wife;
Pledged, through good report, or evil,
To dwell with him through life.

 

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
By Fanny Falks
At the Prison Hospital, St. Louis
THE POUGHKEEPSIE TELEGRAPH
December 6, 1862

Looking wishfully as if there was something still on his mind he said: 'My Mother was a good woman, too. She would treat a poor sick prisoner kindly, and if she were with your son she would kiss him.'"

Lonely, dying among strangers,
All his heart turned towards the South;
Longing for his Mother's blessing,
For her kisses on his mouth.

For her arms once more to clasp him,
Her soft hand upon his head,
And the dear, old-time caresses,
Ere he slumbered with the dead.

Pleading, wistful eyes he turneth
To a gentle face a-near.
Bending down with woman's pity,
His low, dying words to hear.

"Lady" said he, "At my Mother's
If one sick, a prisoner lay,
She would kindly watch beside him,
As you watch by me today."

"If your son, oh, she would soothe him,
And would kiss him - she is good;"
Oh, the wishful glance upturned,
All his meaning understood!

Gently bent the lady, o'er him,
While his dying lips she prest,
"For your Mother's sake" she murmured -
Comforted, he sank to rest.

Rest, that folds the hands forever -
Sleep, no mother's tears can start,
Lo! two angels kissed him;
Heeding the wild cry of his heart!


Ole Wirginny

In a little log house in Ole Wirginny,
Sum niggas lib dat cum from Guinny;
Dare massas flog' em berry little -
But gib dem plenty work and wittle.
Ole Massa Jim, real clebber body,
Ebbery day he gib dem toddy,
An' wen de sun fall in de ribber,
Dey stop de work - an' res de libber.
Chah! chah! dat de way
De niggas spen' de night an' day.

At night dey gadder round de fire
To ta'k ob tings wot hab perspire -
De ashes on de tater toss 'em,
Parch de corn an' roast de possum;
An' arter dat de niggas splutter,
An' hop an' dance de Chicken Flutter.
Da happy den an' hab no bodder -
Dey snug as rat in a stack-a-fodder,
Chah! chah! dat de way
De niggas spen' de night an' day.

'Twas on the nineteenf day of October,
When de Juba dance was ober;
Dey he' a great noise dat soun' like t'under,
Which make de niggas stare and wonder!
Now Cæsar say, he lay a dolla',
De debbil in de corn, for he hea'd him holler;
But Cuffee grin an say, "Now cum see,
I b'lieb it's nott'in' but possum up a gum tree."
Chah! chah! dat de way
De niggas spen' de night an' day.

Den one nigga run an' open de winda,
De moon rush in like fire on a tinder;
De noise soun' plainer, de niggas got fri'ten' -
Dey tink 'twas a mixture ob t'under and litenin'.
Some grate brack mob come cross de medder,
Da kine-a roll demsel's togedder;
But soon dey journ' dis exhalation,
Was nott'in' more dan de niggas from anoder plantation.
Chah! chah! dat de way
De niggas spen' de night an' day.

Dese noisy bracks surroun' de dwellin',
While de news one nigga got a-tellin';
De res ob 'em grin to hear ole Quashy
Menshun de name ob Gineral Washy.
He say dat day, in Yorktown Holler,
Massa George cotch ole Cornwaller;
An' seben t'ousand corn off him shell him -
Leff him nott'in' more'n a cob for to tell him.
Chah! chah! dat de way
De niggas spen' de night an' day.

He say, "Den arter all dis 'fusion,
Dat was de en ob de rebolushun;
An nex day all roun' dat quarter,
Dey gwaing for to keep him as dey ort to."
An dat dare massas 'specially say den,
De niggas mought hab hollowday den;
An dey mout hab rum all day to be quaffin',
All de niggas den buss right out a-laffin'.
Chah! chah! dat de way
De niggas spen' de night an' day.


ON FREEDOM
By Thomas S. Sidney, aged 12 Years
New York African Free School
A Classroom Assigment
October 21st, 1828

Freedom will break the tyrant's chains,
And shatter all his whole domain;
From slavery she will always free
And all her aim is liberty.


On Slavery
By George E. Allen, aged 12 Years
New York African Free School

A Classroom Assignment
October 21st, 1828

Slavery, oh, thou cruel stain, 
Thou does fill my heart with pain; 
See my brother, here he stands
Chained by slavery's cruel hands.

Could we not feel a brother's woes,
Relieve the wants he undergoes?
Snatch him from slavery's cruel smart,
And to him freedom's joy impart?


ONLY A SOLDIER'S GRAVE
By S.A. Jones

Only a soldier's grave! Pass by,
For soldiers, like other mortals, die.
Parents had he - they are far away;
No sister weeps o'er the soldier's clay;
No brother comes, with tearful eye;
It's only a soldier's grave - pass by.

True, he was loving, and young, and brave,
Though no glowing epitaph honors his grave;
No proud recital of virtues known,
Of griefs endured, or triumphs won;
No tablet of marble, or obelisk high;
Only a soldier's grave: pass by.

Yet bravely he wielded his sword in fight,
And he gave his life in the cause of right!
When his hope was high, and his youthful dream
As warm as the sunlight on yonder stream;
His heart unvexed by sorrow or sigh;
Yet, 'tis only a soldier's grave: pass by.

Yet, we should mark it - the soldier's grave,
Some one may seek him in hope to save!
Some of the dear ones, far away,
Would bear him home to his native clay:
'T'were sad, indeed, should they wander nigh,
Find not the hillock, and pass him by.


POCAHONTAS
The daughter of the Indian Chief Powhattan who was mov'd,
by her eloquent importunities, to save the life of Captain Smith,
his prisoner and doomed, by a Council of war, to a cruel death.

Upon the barren sand,
The lonely captive stood:
Around him came, with bow and brand,
The red men of the wood.
Like one of old, his doom he hears,
Rock-bound on Ocean's brim;
The Chieftain's daughter knelt in tears,
And breathed a prayer for him.

Above his head, in air,
The savage war-club swung:
The frantic maid, in wild despair,
Her arms around him flung;
Then shook the warriors off the shade,
Like leaves on aspen limb,
Subdued by that heroic maid,
Who breathed a prayer for him!

"Unbind him!" gasp'd the Chief;
"It is your King's decree."
He kiss'd away the tears of grief,
And set the captive free!
'Tis ever thus when, in life's storm,
Hope's Star to man grows dim,
An Angel kneels, in woman's form,
And breathes a prayer for him.


The Telegrapher's Valentine
By J.C. Maxwell
1860

The tendrils of my soul are twined
With thine, though many a mile apart.
And thine in close coiled circuits wind
Around the needle of my heart.

Constant as Daniel, strong as Grove.
Ebullient throughout its depths like Smee,
My heart puts forth its tide of love,
And all its circuits close in thee.

O tell me, when along the line
From my full heart the message flows,
What currents are induced in thine?
One click from thee will end my woes.

Through many a volt the weber flew,
And clicked this answer back to me;
I am thy farad staunch and true,
Charged to a volt with love for thee.

 

Telegraphy
By A Pennsylvania Preacher
1848

Along the smooth and slender wires, the sleepless heralds run,
Fast as the clear and living rays go streaming from the sun;
No pearls of flashes, heard or seen, their wondrous flight betray,
And yet their words are quickly caught in cities far away.


To The Fair "Dippers"
By A Looker On
THE DALLAS HERALD
March 7, 1860, p. 1, c. 1
Gainesville, 1860

"She that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him." - Solomon.  (The "hedge" mentioned is our allusion to the great quantities of small timber annually destroyed for snuff mops.)

This morning I sat by a maid,
And clasped her hand whiter than snow,
And I thought that an angel had strayed
From her home to make heaven below!

Small hands, fair as the shells of the sea,
And sweet little fingers - oh, hush!
What is it they hold? Ah! I see,
'Tis a confounded "dipper"- stick-brush!

As rich as a half-opened pink,
Is the soft, blushing tints of her lips!
They are parting to kiss me, I think,
Oh, no! 'tis for - Heavens, she dips!

How fair are her pearly-white teeth!
Compared to them ivory's "stuff";
Let me drink the fresh balm of her breath -
By thunder! I'm sneezing! 'Tis snuff!

Great God! and can lips that are sweet
As the dew in the cup of the rose,
Take a dose that a dog wouldn't eat -
That would make a hog turn up his nose!

Oh! beautiful maidens, refrain
From that vile, detestable stuff!
Never poison your dear lips again
With filthy street-sweepings - called snuff.

Just think, if your lovers should dare
To rob your red lips of a kiss,
And for honey, find snuff hidden there,
'Twould deprive you of Love's sweetest bliss!

Our old Father Adam, we're told,
Was slightly deluded by Eve,
But the way we poor fellows are sold,
Father Adam could never conceive!


You'll Tell Her, Won't You?
SAVANNAH (Georgia) REPUBLICAN
October, 2, 1862, p. 1, c. 5

Another (soldier), shot through the lungs, clasped a locket to his breast and moved his lips till I put down my ear and listened for his last breath: 'You'll tell her, won't you?' Tell who or where I could not ask, but the locket was the picture of one who might be wife, sweetheart or sister."  - Army Letter.

You'll tell her, won't you?  Say to her I died
As a brave soldier should - true to the last;
She'll bear it better if a though of price
Comes in to stay her, the first shock o'erpast!

You'll tell her, won't you?  Show her how I lay
Pressing the pictured lips I loved so well;
And how my last thoughts floated far away,
To home and her, with love I could not tell.

You'll tell her, won't you? - not how hard it was
To give up life - for her sake so dear;
Nay, nay, not so.  Say 'twas a noble cause,
And I did die for it without a tear.

You'll tell her, won't you?  She'll be glad to know
Her soldier stood undaunted, true as steel,
His heart with her, his bosom to the foe,
When the blow struck no human power could break.

You'll tell her, won't you?  Say, too, we shall meet
In God's Hereafter, where our love shall grow
More holy for this parting, and more sweet,
And cleansed from every stain it knew below.

 

Home